United will look like geniuses if this risky £11m signing comes off

Another day, another player linked with Man United! This time it’s former AC Milan wonder kid Pato.

There was a time when the footballing world bowed at Pato’s feet as he slalomed through defences, and looked like he was on his way to becoming the net big thing. But this isn’t another case of a youngster that failed to make the grade.

Seen as the next brilliant Brazilian at the San Siro after Kaka, Pato cost AC Milan €23m in August 2007 but had to wait to until January 2008 before he could actually play and made up for lost time by terrorising Serie A and Europe.

Few will forget this goal against Barcelona back in 2012 where he simply took it to the Catalan giants running at the team before slotting the ball through Valdez’s legs.

But there is a reason why he isn’t at Barcelona or Real Madrid right now; injuries.

The Brazilian simply couldn’t stay fit and at the end of the day he and AC Milan agreed to part ways, with Pato returning to Brazil in an attempt to recover and revitalise his career.

Constantly linked with a return to Europe, it is now the turn of United to be linked with the 25 year old and it seems this one may actually have legs, with Jason Burt of the The Daily Telegraph opining that United are actually interested in him (as opposed to the hundreds of other players the club is linked to!)

Burt claims that Pato has been offered to both United and Chelsea by Corinthians after a loan spell as Sao Paulo ended, and that whilst he is being considered there are other players on each club’s radars.

Pato would provide the pace in attack that Louis Van Gaal has cried out for, and in his prime combined brilliant technical ability with flair and deadly finishing, but that was in his prime (astounding that we are talking about a 25 year old here) and years later after being ravaged by injury can he still do the things that made him a star?

And then you look at the injuries, can the Brazilian stand up to the demands of the English game? With concerns over the fitness of Bastian Schweinsteiger, it would be suicide for United to sign two crooks this summer.

The move would prove a HUGE risk and given that the club seemingly bartered over €2m when it came to signing Pedro, the £11m figure being mentioned for Pato would make it even riskier, but if the do OK the move and he shows the same or even similar form to his earlier years in Italy it will seem an inspired master stroke.

He managed 30 goals in 74 appearances over two seasons at Sao Paulo, not a bad return, and adding goals like that to United’s team, who look decidedly blunt up top would see them improve their chances of challenging for silverware.


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