Most people seem to think that Corinthians have sprung a coup by signing Alexandre Pato from AC Milan for 15 million Euros.
I am more sceptical. I reckon there’s a long way to go before we can say whether the deal is a good one for the Libertadores and World Club champions.
I draw that conclusion not just because it is the biggest transfer fee ever paid by a Brazilian club but also because Pato appears injury prone.
He’s appeared just 150 times in five years for the rossoneri and only once in the last year did he play the full 90 minutes for the club.
I think it’s also questionable whether Corinthians really need another striker.
They already have Emerson Sheik, Guerrero, Romarinho and Martinez vying for one of the front two places plus they have Douglas, Danilo, Jorge Henrique and now Renato Augusto competing for the spots right behind them.
Granted, Corinthians do need a regular goalscorer, seven teams last season scored as many or more goals than they did. They also need fresh legs, the average age of the current side is almost 30.
If Pato stays fit and fast he will surely get them goals. He will certainly get more chances per game in Brazil – and against poorer defences – than he did in Italy.
But there is a gamble involved in paying 15 million Euros for a player as inconsistent as Pato.
It is also a bellwether signing for the Brazilian league. If it works out we might see more Brazilian clubs throwing caution to the wind and splashing out. In a league as indebted as Brazil’s that’s worrying.
One thing is for certain. Corinthians and Nike will be throwing their considerable weight behind a marketing campaign to promote Pato as the next big thing.
Good luck to the young man. His career has come off the rails recently and this move might get him back on track.
Only time will tell…