Tottenham Signing Alexandre Pato Would Be Huge Risk

Jul 28, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Tottenham Hotspur head coach Mauricio Pochettino during training in advance of the 2015 MLS All Star Game at Dick
Jul 28, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Tottenham Hotspur head coach Mauricio Pochettino during training in advance of the 2015 MLS All Star Game at Dick /

Tottenham is reportedly closing in on signing Brazilian striker Alexandre Pato. Such a move would be a huge risk for Spurs given his uneven form in Brazil.

Most agree that Tottenham must sign a striker in the January Transfer Window to provide cover and support for Harry Kane. Recently, reports have heated up that Daniel Levy and Co are close to a deal to bring Alexandre Pato to White Hart Lane in January. When you look at his play in the Brazilian League, real concerns about his ability to perform for Tottenham arise pretty quickly.

Pato has been around for so long it’s easy to think he’s in his early 30s. In reality, the former AC Milan man is just 26-years old. He is currently plying his trade Sao Paulo in the Brazilian League. When you first hear that he’s scored ten goals and contributed five assists already this season for his club you’re inclined to be excited about his potential transfer to Tottenham.

When you shine a light on his time in Brazil his deficiencies show up immediately. Those ten goals and five assists are great, but they’ve come in 28 games. Even more worrisome, is the overall quality of his performance in the Brazilian League. His rating for the year comes in at a very average 6.88.

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When you think of the step up in quality he’d face in the Premier League it’s appropriate to question whether he’d be effective at all. If he can’t stand out in his lesser domestic league how can he be expected to thrive at one of the world’s top leagues?

In looking into his historical numbers, it’s been a while since Pato has posted above average numbers as a striker anywhere in the world. To find a player rating above seven you have to go all the way back to his 2010/11 campaign at AC Milan. He’s had a number of injuries since then and it’s fair to wonder whether or not those setbacks have robbed him of any chance to regain his past form.

Signing a 26-year old striker who’s five years removed from his best form doesn’t sound like a great way to strengthen a Tottenham squad looking to push for the top four. It sounds much more like a deal that would have been made by past technical director Franco Baldini than anyone currently running things at Tottenham.

In fact, I’d be inclined to think this was just a rumor if not for the specificity in the reports that Pato’s agent, Giuliano Bertolucci, is already in London negotiating with the club.

While Mauricio Pochettino has earned our trust in regards to player recruitment over the past year, it’s fair to have some questions about how Pato can impact Spurs. If a transfer does happen, it’ll be up to Pochettino’s supreme managerial skills to help the Brazilian rediscover his long-absent form.