It seems just yesterday that Alexandre Pato was tipped to become the world’s greatest player at AC Milan, but injuries contributed to a drop in form that has seen him return to Brazil with Corinthians.
Still only 24, Pato is reportedly a target for both Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur in January and a move could suit all parties ahead of the World Cup.
Pato has been injury free throughout 2013, scoring eight goals in 24 league appearances for Corinthians.
After spending much of his spell at AC Milan in the physio’s room, Pato has undergone a Robin van Persie-esque change in fortune at Corinthians and has even suggested the Italian club were to blame for his previous issues.
His eight goals have come in just 15 starts in the Brazilian top flight and if his injury problems are behind him then Pato can finally go about achieving his potential at either Spurs or Arsenal.
Behind both Jo and Fred in Brazil’s pecking order, Pato needs to make a splash to force his way into Luiz Felipe Scolari’s plans for the World Cup.
Pato reportedly turned down a move to the Premier League in the summer in order to focus on getting back into the Brazil side, but now finds himself behind both Jo and Fred for the central striker position having played just five times in 2013.
A move to Spurs or Arsenal could raise his profile and he would be likely to feature regularly for either English side due to their lack of options, perhaps giving him the edge over his rivals for a Selecao spot.
Spurs and Arsenal need extra firepower as none of Roberto Soldado and Olivier Giroud’s deputies have scored in the Premier League so far.
Arsene Wenger has had to start Giroud in all of the Gunners’ Champions League and Premier League matches so far due to the inadequacy of Nicklas Bendtner as his backup.
Jermain Defoe has scored for fun in the Europa League but fluffed his lines in his one league start for Spurs, while Emmanuel Adebayor is far from reliable as a backup for Soldado.
Pato would not be cup-tied for any European action and can play either wide or through the centre of an attack, making him a perfect option to add squad depth.