Former Chelsea striker Alexandre Pato told The Players’ Tribune that he regrets his 2016 decision to join the club.
Midway through the 15/16 season, he was added to a group that was having trouble winning games despite the club having won the league the year before and the year after.
Throughout this campaign, many of Chelsea’s top players, including Diego Costa, Oscar, and Eden Hazard in particular, were far behind the pace. In the middle of the season, the team made a series of frantic-looking recruits, including Michael Hector and Matt Miazga.
In his six months with the team, Pato only made two appearances, but he scored on his debut against Aston Villa.
Pato regrets Chelsea move
He started: “You know why I played so much better at São Paulo? They looked after me properly. There I just had to play. But when Chelsea called me, I was still dreaming of Europe. Unfortunately, I paid the price again for being overprotected.
“I still didn’t get it. I thought that Chelsea would loan me for six months and then I’d sign for three years. I didn’t realise that they could say no after the loan. Had I known? I would have gone elsewhere. It was a pity, because I was training really well, and the coach only played me twice. I never understood why.”
Before moving to London, Pato’s career was soaring to new heights, most notably with Italian club AC Milan.
However, he played some of his best football in China, where he had back-to-back seasons of 15 goals, after that terrible period.
Although he has scarcely shown any signs of regaining his finest, most productive form in the latter stages of his career, he is still playing in the MLS.