Alexandre Pato is on the move again. We signed him on July 27 for something like €3m from Corinthians; now, six months and a couple of days later, he’s leaving for Tianjin Quinjian in the Chinese league. The fee has been variously reported but is apparently €18m, while Pato himself will make something like €5m a year.
Pato departs having scored six goals for Villarreal: two in the Europa League, one in the Copa, one in the CL qualifier, and two in La Liga. Two goals in 880 minutes in the league is not much.
He did have the match in Gijón which had the home crowd applauding him, and his dribbling skills were frequently on display, but he seemed to struggle with the close marking in La Liga, frequently being dispossessed.
Might he have become a more effective player in the second half of the season? Maybe; his assist against Barcelona was certainly lovely. And he is a player who is capable of generating some excitement, though the end product might not always be there. But with Bakambu and Soldado returning, it’s hard to know how much playing time he would have had.
There were a few glitches in the negotiations between Pato and his new club, but those have now been resolved and the deal should be made official shortly.
The bottom line though is the Chinese club offered Villarreal an opportunity to make a quick €15m on a €3m investment. That’s hard to pass up.