It seems every day another high profile player is being linked with a move the Chinese Super League. The latest one is former AC Milan wonderkid Alexandre Pato. He has never lived up to his potential and is being linked with a big-money move to Tianjin Quanjian.
According to reports from Spain, the Chinese club have been given permission to discuss terms with the forward.
His current club Villarreal are reported to be keen on selling the underperforming star this month.
Struggled to live up to early career hype
Alexandre Pato was considered to be a wonderkid in his early career in European football at Italian giants AC Milan. He was supposed to be the next big Brazilian superstar after a stellar couple of seasons with the Rossoneri.
However, injuries and a reported liking of the party lifestyle hampered his career. He eventually ended up back in Brazil at the likes of Corinthians and Sao Paulo, before a short unsuccessful loan stint at Chelsea.
Last summer he joined Spanish club Villarreal. The move was supposed to re-ignite Pato’s career in European football and show everybody his ability. However, his spell in Spain has been somewhat underwhelming. The 27-year-old has scored just two goals in 14 La Liga appearances.
Pato has talked about being a success in European football once again while he was back in his homeland. A move to China at this stage of his career seems to suggest he is more concerned with his bank balance than his career.
Chinese clubs signing ordinary players
It is understandable Chinese clubs attempting to sign big players like Chelsea striker Diego Costa. Tianjin Quanjian was the club that was believed to be the club that unsettled the Brazilian-born striker recently and lead to Spanish international’s short exile from the Blues squad.
The clubs in the Chinese Super League are trying to increase the quality of the players in the league. However, the amount of money that is being spent on ordinary players is what is concerning. They seem to have more money than sense.
Pato has failed to really convince in European football. His career back in his homeland was not even that impressive. The forward is no doubt better than the local players, but that is not hard, as China is very much a developing country when it comes to football.
Pato may come across as a glamourous name from a big football nation. However, his actual contribution on the pitch surely cannot prove value for money for the club buying him.
Chinese clubs are spending crazy amounts of money, but maybe they are not investing in the right players or the right way.
Pato may regret missed opportunities in Europe
If Alexandre Pato moves to China there is a sense that the Brazilian forward will never reappear in European football. In most interviews he did in Brazil he seemed obsessed with proving himself in the European game.
Reports during his time in Milan suggested that he was a player that was averse to training hard and loved the high life. If those reports are correct then maybe it’s his own fault that he was not a success in European football.
A move to China, basically for a probable big pay day will kill off his chances of making it in the European game. If he does make the expected move, then he will always be considered a flop in Europe.
Pato failing to live up to his potential has been disappointing. It would be a shame to see the former Brazilian international take another backwards step in his career, which football wise a move to China is.
The Brazilian star is unlikely to be the last high-profile star to head to the Far East and pick up a big pay packet. However, how much good the arrival in the Chinese Super League of players like Pato really does remain to be seen.
Is Alexandre Pato making the right move by heading to China?