Alexandre Pato’s short spell at Chelsea ended in disappointment for all those who expected him to succeed at the London club. Even for himself.
The striker joined Chelsea in January 2016, but as the club decided not to use their buying option over him, he ended up leaving in the summer.
Now at Villarreal, with six goals and four assists this season, Pato is enjoying more opportunities and much better form. He’s been speaking to Brazil’s Globo Esporte this week, going over the ups and downs in his career.
“Guus was very correct from the first day,” said Pato. “When I arrived, we talked a lot. Chelsea had two or three players injured. Guus told me: ‘Look, Pato, you know there’s a hierarchy here, we have rules. You’ll be here, and I’ll give you a chance when I can.’
“I went to Chelsea with an illusion that I would play and show more, so maybe I could stay longer. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to play what I could have played. In the two games I played, I showed my football, I scored on my debut.”
“But it’s okay, I learned a different culture, a kind of job, and that helped me a lot. I wish I had played more, but I understand. Twenty days after I arrived, everyone who was injured returned. And I was the last one, had just arrived. It was not what I expected, but it passed.”
In the half-season spent at Chelsea, Alexandre Pato only had two opportunities to get on the pitch. He first played against Aston Villa, when he scored a goal, and then in a defeat to Swansea City.
These games happened in early April, and he didn’t have another chance in the following six matches of the season. He returned to Corinthians, and was sold to Villarreal on a €3m deal.