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Tuesday January 8 2013
A wise move for Pato or Milan?

Will Milan regret their decision to sell Alexandre Pato to Corinthians? David Swan takes a closer look at the dynamics of The Duck’s exit.

It could have been worse – it could have been a January-long saga with continued back-and-forth negotiations. As it turned out, Alexandre Pato's15m move to Corinthians was relatively painless and gives Milan the rest of the month to decide what they want to do with the money.

That the player wanted to leave – despite the emotion and obvious attachment he showed when it came to saying goodbye to his teammates – meant it was difficult for the club to keep him. And it is a blow to the new policy, one of buying young guys under 22, when one of the best exits the squad.

It is a shame that the Brazilian felt he had to return home in order to, in the words of his agent, "play with continuity," and Milan may well look back at this in a few years’ time and wonder if they could have done more to keep him.

His desire to leave seems to have been lost amongst the mercato rumours and Robinho negotiations. Did he feel he had lost his place in the starting XI? Does he think that the club has a role in his injury problems? Both are issues the outfit could have dealt with if either played a part in the move.

There has certainly been a distinct lack of confidence in Pato since his return from injury in October. He played in seven games before getting ‘injured’ again against Anderlecht, starting four and completing 90 minutes in just one of them. The consistent nature in which he was either subbed off or used from the bench suggested dissatisfaction with his performances. They were bad in some games, but the rest of the attack, apart from Stephan El Shaarawy, were putting up woeful numbers to the extent that there was no justifiable reason not to continue showing faith in the Brazilian.

At the time of Pato's return, Giampaolo Pazzini had scored in just one of his 10 appearances – a hat-trick against Bologna – and was struggling desperately, while Bojan and Robinho were goalless. It is understandable if he was just a little perturbed at players that were doing no better getting minutes in his place.

It did not help that he entered a team that was performing badly all over the pitch, with panic switches to a back three and selection changes every game. Pazzini has started to score now that the rest of the team has started playing to an acceptable level and there is no doubt that Pato, who did manage a couple of important goals during the team’s bad spell, would have benefitted too had he not been unavailable.

His last injury that caused him to miss the mini-revival now becomes much clearer in light of the transfer – specifically that he was not injured, at least not for the length of time the club would have liked us to believe, but that he was being kept away to ensure he was fit to move in January.

The other genuine injuries remain a mystery. Yet for all the setbacks he has suffered, it has not stopped two clubs – PSG and now Corinthians – from bidding for him over the past 12 months. Neither seemed particularly concerned at the sheer number of muscular ailments, and both are probably of the mind-set that it is the club, and not the player, at the heart of the problem.

It can be looked at as one of the positives of the move – now we finally get to see whether he is an injury-prone player, or if it was a Milan issue instead. If, come July, he has been tearing it up in Brazil for a couple of months, injury-free, then there needs to be some serious reflection and investigation in the summer.

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Have your say...
Pity Milan didn't take the 30m+ that PSG were willing to pay last year. He scored 4 goals last year, Corinthians signed him for 15m(3.75m per goal!),PSG happy to stay away from the transfer. He will score goals in Brazil, most opponents will be too lazy and unprofessional to bother running after him. We cannot doubt his ability, but he is too delicate/injury prone. Is he Michael Owen in disguise?
on the 10th January, 2013 at 4:46pm
He's plastic and often injured. The writing may have been on the wall, as far as his injuries went, as it was for Kaka and Milan cut their losses a year after rejecting a huge bid for him. I'm 100% convinced it's Milan understanding that this kid is injury prone + the revelation of SES. This last injury, the club finally did the right thing IMO, and did not rush him back from injury and he got impatient, rather than realize it was the right thing to do? Now invest that $15 mill properly, please.
on the 10th January, 2013 at 2:30pm
Pato was Brazil's answer to Messi when he first broke onto the scene. He was wonderful and very clinical, and always seemed to raise his level for the big games. But then Milan failed to compliment him with quality players, instead of going for finished players like Ronaldinho. Moreover, they moved him to poacher, which he is unable to play in because he's too much of an airhead for that, anyone who knows football would play pato in a position when he has the ball to dribble and shoot in motion.
on the 9th January, 2013 at 10:47pm
Really its a no brainer deal, rather loan/sell him to another club where he can "possibly" regain fitness then to see him warm the bench at every game while being injured...
on the 9th January, 2013 at 5:56am
Great move. Just wish theyd sold him last year for 35million. Waste of money to begin with. Injuries or no injuries. If a 20 year old can suffer injury that easily and that frequently he needs a career change. Bored of listening to the excuses of 'personal' problems. Glad hes gone milan lost there way by selling players that didnt actually want to leave! Kaka, ibra and silva but to name afew. I hope we rid ourselves of all the players that are home sick and not happy.
on the 8th January, 2013 at 10:41pm
All of this has seen Pato waste his talent. He could have been a great player but a combination of mismanagement from MIlan and his on questionable attitude means that it is probably best that he moves on. It's shame Milan did not sell him last season for 43m we might still have Thiago Silva. I hope Pato does well at Corinithians and if he does and his injuries mysteriously go away that Milan need to have a good look at themselves.
on the 8th January, 2013 at 7:29pm
This is something that Brazilian managers seemed to be wary of which is why he has never been given a run in the Brazil side at any level (he was dropped from the Brazil Olympic side in 2008). After such a badly managed start to his career he than began to suffer the injurious which have decimated Milan squads for the last few years. Again these injuries are explained as bad luck rather than a completely unsatisfactory medical team (didn't Kaka fall out with them over their methods?)
on the 8th January, 2013 at 7:27pm
The sensible option would have been to loan Pato back to Nacional either until January or until the end of the season. However, prompted by another failed transfer campaign and youth policy Pato was hailed as Milan's saviour at the age of 18! Rather than easing him into the side he was put straight into the starting line up. It is no surprise he built up a huge ego. His goal scoring record was excellent but his general attitude did leave question marks.
on the 8th January, 2013 at 7:20pm
Pato's story sums up Galliani's failings over the years. He arrived the last time we had a garage sale in 2007. Galliani wholly exaggerated his impact to make up for the other failings in the squad due to a combination of an inept transfer policy (Olivera? A fat Ronaldo?) and a non-existent youth team policy (wasn't this Borriello's best season?). This put huge pressure on Pato. For some reason probably only known to Galliani Milan insisted on Pato joining in August even though he could not play
on the 8th January, 2013 at 7:17pm
At last Pato will leave. I hate to say this because normally it's good to be focused and single-minded but sometimes Pato seems daft. Just scoring goals is enough for a striker so focusing on goal is good but I wonder about his ability to think in some situations. Had he not had his speed he just be average. Hopefully he can prove me wrong because if he is as good as some people have made him out to be I hope to see him back in serie A later.
on the 8th January, 2013 at 5:18pm
What is he? 23? If he and Milan stick to their word about bringing him back in 18 months time, then all party's may benefit.

The point I'm making is, if Pato can conquer his injury problems and regain his form in this period, then Milan will benefit by bringing back the player they first signed whilst having recouped £15mil and saving their wage bill at the same time.
on the 8th January, 2013 at 5:12pm
Pato leaving is good for Milan, it's just a shame it wasn't last year when PSG made that huge bid.

I don't care how talented he is, he's never fit.

Time for Milan to go and sign a centre forward to lead the line, play 90% of games and link up with El Sharaawy.

The likes of Lewandowski, Higuain and Tevez are out of the question so either invest in a young player or a player out of favour with his club - Balotelli, Destro, Murial, Ferreyra or Leandro Damião for example.
on the 8th January, 2013 at 4:23pm
I'm not one of the Milan fans who fawn over Pato. He has been a useless cash sink for the past two years. Milan needs a striker who can actually contribute. Destro comes to mind (he would fit perfectly that young striker mold).
on the 8th January, 2013 at 3:54pm
What an over-rated duck who never proved himself ! Milan made the right choice to sell him.
on the 8th January, 2013 at 3:22pm
Adriano, Ricardo Oliviera and Robinho were all 'tearing it up' in Paulista and Brazilian championship, when they had been sent back due to having no form in europe. The brazilian championship is below mediocre at best. Neymar is awarded fouls and penalties for diving. attacking players are protected, so Pato can at least rely on referees not allowing defenders from tackling him too hard. look at seedorf. didn't score more than 6 goals in a season for Milan since 2007-08. has 9 already in brazil
on the 8th January, 2013 at 2:53pm
Half the Milan squad are average, what the manager has done with this squad is to be applauded, though I always think too many changes every season hurt the team.
Too many players left in the Summer. Robinho is terrible, abbiati makes howlers now and again. As a Juve fan, I hope Milan come back strong soon. Not the same serie A without them.
on the 8th January, 2013 at 2:31pm
Im not saying they are the best just seems odd to sell everyone lol, I heard zaccardo could join that would be good he is better than Antonini and Mesbah, he can cover full back and centre back,
on the 8th January, 2013 at 2:02pm
I think both parts did the right thing. Pato was brilliant. And he probably still is, but he has been injured constantly the last couple of years. And Milan don't have the economy for him not play. So I hope he returns to Brazil an becomes injury-free and the success he's talent deserves. Maybe he'll return in a couple of years (when the Allegri is gone) and fulfil all our dreams of him. Forza Rossoneri
on the 8th January, 2013 at 1:30pm
I think people are overlooking an important part of the deal. Milan sold 60% of Pato to Corinthians and gave 40% to Pato himself for free. This seems to me like an arrangement where Pato will demand a return to Milan in the future (post WC) and he will surrender his 40% back to Milan for free. You may ask why such a structure would be plausible? I would say that Pato is more than just a player for Milan. He has a relationship Barbara and Silvio seems to have accepted him as Barbara's partner.
on the 8th January, 2013 at 1:27pm
@adam

Cause antonini is ao bad its not even funny and so is robinho? Do you know anything bout acm? Lol sell em both asap get destro and a center back n were sorted.
on the 8th January, 2013 at 1:11pm
Hang on a second. From what I remember he refused to go to PSG.
And he is or was going out with berlusconi's daughter, so wanted to keep him close to her.
on the 8th January, 2013 at 12:51pm
The fact Milan could have gotten 40mil only a year ago must haunt them every night, if only they had sold him to psg in 2012, it would have meant they could have hold onto Ibra or Silva for sure and the future and bankbalance would have looked a lot healthier for them and may I say: the league table as well for them probably.
on the 8th January, 2013 at 12:12pm
Milan stood by him when he was injured and he repays them by wanting to leave. No wonder Milan sold and should have sold him years ago.
on the 8th January, 2013 at 11:52am
It is a shame than pato did get injured on a constant basis as he was really a bright and talented young star but at the same time could not live up to potiental with so many setbacks it is a huge loss for italian football again milan have had to let go of there 6th? Superstar in the past 3-4 years (Kaka, Ronaldhino, Ibra, Thiago Silva, Pirlo, Pato) not to mention the veterans they let go last season, for pato and the sake of football hopes shines in brazil as he was a player to admire and anyone would love to have in there team
on the 8th January, 2013 at 11:28am
A good deal for Milan but how silly are they?? Last January PSG offered £40 million?? .... Pato is well over rated IMO, even when fit he was average.But they should have sold last year. Whats with Milan anyway why they selling Robinho, Anotonini and Abate they got no money what so ever? I thought they balanced the books already? Or is Silvio and uncle Festa having to many parties in the club basement that need paying for?
on the 8th January, 2013 at 10:48am
This is a wise and best move for Milan, he's a too expensive toy to keep. In my opinion I just can't see him success in Milan anymore regardless of the coach. He has talent, but potential can only bring you so far. I wish him the best and no regret even if he thrives in Brazil.
on the 8th January, 2013 at 10:37am
Apparently he has promised Don Silvio he'll be back in 18 months. There's no faith in him - and that's perfectly understandable - you can't rely on him to be there from one game to another. Fantastic talent but his body is mush. A real pity.
on the 8th January, 2013 at 10:12am

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