Alexandre Pato In Line For Chelsea FC Debut As Diego Costa Is Rested

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 21: Alexandre Pato of Chelsea after the Emirates FA Cup match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on February 21, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 21: Alexandre Pato of Chelsea after the Emirates FA Cup match between Chelsea and Manchester City at Stamford Bridge on February 21, 2016 in London, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images) /
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Alexandre Pato may finally make his eagerly awaited Chelsea FC debut as Guus Hiddink looks to give Diego Costa a rest in the coming weeks.

Winter arrival Alexandre Pato is on the verge of pulling on the Chelsea shirt for the first time as boss Guus Hiddink considers resting Diego Costa during the next few games.

Speaking ahead of the Blues’ clash with Norwich City later tonight, the interim manager stated that Pato was developing at a decent rate and that he is ready to feature in a limited capacity.

"Pato is eager and there is healthy competition among the strikers with Diego as number one…He’s not ready for 90 minutes but he’s ready to play part of the game. – via chelseafc.com"

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The Brazilian was drafted in during the winter transfer window as the Blues looked to strengthen their squad for the second half of the campaign. On an initial loan deal, Pato will be evaluated over the next few months before a decision regarding his permanent future is made.

With Loic Remy and Radamel Falcao continuously struggling with injuries, attacking cover was needed for Diego Costa. Fortunately, the Spanish international has hit his straps since Hiddink’s arrival but a reliable second striker was required.

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Somewhat bizarrely, the Blues opted to bring in a striker who was in the middle of his off-season and thus he has been spending the last month getting up to match-fitness. Given that Pato was signed for the immediate future, it is rather bemusing that he has been unavailable for the entirety of his stay so far.

Nevertheless, he appears to be finally close to match speed and he may well be utilised in the next few games as Costa is saved for some huge clashes on the horizon.

Having said that, Hiddink has stated that he is not yet ready for a full 90 minutes, so expect the Brazilian to come off the bench and relieve Costa with half an hour to go should the circumstances be conducive to such a switch.

At the age of 26, the forward has reached crossroads in his career. A string of decent performances are required for the Blues should he want to kick on and realise the potential that he has teased over the years. A number of big clubs will be watching with intrigue, ready to pounce should Chelsea choose not to sign him permanently.

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Fans will undoubtedly be eager to see Pato in action and hopefully he will prove to the world that he is no Radamel Fal-, sorry, prove to the world that he is no flop.