Alexandre Pato completes Chelsea loan deal

Brazilian striker is short on fitness claims Chelsea’s Dutch manager Guus Hiddink

Alexandre Pato completed his six-month loan move to Chelsea from the Brazilian club Corinthians on Friday after attending a work permit hearing in London, with Guus Hiddink insisting the transfer does not represent a gamble.

Pato, who enjoyed a productive spell at Milan earlier in his career, has not played a competitive game since the completion of a two-year loan spell at São Paulo in November. The 26-year-old has 27 caps for Brazil and is expected to secure his work permit on appeal because he will accumulate the required ‘points’ needed under the system given the size of the club he is joining and the wages he will be paid.

"It's at the paperwork stage," said Hiddink prior to the announcment of his arrival, who will not have the player available until after Sunday's FA Cup fourth round tie against MK Dons. "We'll see how long it takes to solve before he gets on the pitch. It's not a gamble. Coming on loan makes it possible for us to have a good view of him, and see whether he's able to adapt to the high demands of the club and the league. We'll give him all the support in this, but it's up to him.

“If you buy a player, with all respect to him, who must prove he can make that next step then it’s more of a risk. Taking him on loan is good for everyone: to see whether he’s happy at this club, and if the club are happy with him. It will take him a while. He cannot yet be fully fit because Corinthians were only in [PRE-SEASON]preparations.”


Hiddink is expected to grant Gary Cahill only his third start since arriving back at the club as interim manager – the others came in on Boxing Day against Watford, and the third round tie against Scunthorpe – after discussing the England vice-captain's frustrations at his bit-part role in the side over recent weeks. Cahill has not asked to leave Chelsea, with whom he signed a new contract only last month, but has made known his desire to secure first-team football, particularly with the summer's European Championship in mind.

“There was no hint that he wants to leave,” said Hiddink. “He was very open and very clear, that he loves to stay in this club, but he’s not playing. And that gives a bit of frustration, which is normal. But I like his attitude in training, never giving up, and that will always be rewarded. He’s of big value and will prove that in the upcoming time. I spoke to him a few days ago about the situation, which I like to do always with my key players, and he’s not to be considered a ‘second choice’.

“He’s of big importance and will be, with the multitude of games coming up. He signed a new contract recently which is a signal he loves the club and likes to be here. Sometimes players go through periods where they don’t play frequently, but given the number of games coming up, he’ll get his minutes to play.”

Loïc Rémy, who is attracting interest from Newcastle United, Crystal Palace and Leicester City, will miss the game on Sunday with a “minor” calf injury. Chelsea expect to complete the signing of the young United States international defender Matt Miazga before Monday’s deadline, with the 20-year-old centre-half to gain experience around the first-team squad over the remainder of the season. “Miazga is a young player,” added Hiddink. “Let’s see if he can adapt to the high demands of this club and the Premier League.”

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