For a striker who is yet to touch a ball in a Chelsea shirt, the problems of Alexandre Pato have been aggravated yet again by the recent comments of interim Chelsea Manager Guus Hiddink.
Hiddink has warned the Brazilian that he is not guaranteed a first team place – even if he fully recovers from the injury that has kept him away from the Chelsea team thus far.
The 69-year-old Dutch Manager was talking to the press ahead of his side’s fixture against Southampton at the weekend.
Southampton are coming into this game in fine form and the Blues have to be at their very best in order to get 3-points at the St. Mary’s Stadium.
Talking about the injury woes of striker Alexandre Pato, Hiddink said:
“Pato has now to get his sharpness to be competitive with the youngsters we have, because we have three strikers available, plus Falcao who is injured,” Hiddink said.
In addition to indicating the depth in the strike department of the club, Hiddink provided one more reason that could keep Pato away from the Chelsea Starting XI.
“Diego [Costa] is doing his job very well and I’m rather satisfied with Traore’s performances in the games when he’s come in, especially being a youngster with no big international name. They have to compete for the positions.”
Clearly, with his new manager not outwardly showing confidence in him, Pato will have to be at his very best if he wants to stay at Chelsea beyond the 2015/16 season.