Would €8m Arsenal target be just another Diaby?

Arsenal have had an €8m bid for Spurs target Alexandre Pato rejected by Brazilian side Corinthians.

The former AC Milan striker has fallen out with manager Tite, and is heading for the exit door in January, with a move back to Europe the most likely switch for the 24 year old. North London rivals Tottenham saw a late transfer window swoop for Pato fail, as the former Internacional striker wanted to stay with Corinthians, but his recent spats seem to have changed his mind.

With Arsenal seeking a new striker, it makes sense for them to target Pato, who impressed sporadically whilst with AC Milan, where he hit 63 goals in 150 games. His tally of 10 goals in 25 games for Brazil is also impressive, but his record with Corinthians is a little more disappointing with 17 goals in 59 games.

However, the huge negative of Pato's career so far has been the plethora of injuries that have riddled him. Persistent hamstring and thigh injuries curtailed his time at the San Siro, and have arguably stunted his development since his move from Internacional in 2007.

With Pato's injury history, would it be wise for Arsenal to invest time and money in a striker that they may not be able to rely on? Olivier Giroud has had a great start to the season but needs support from another striker, but Arsenal could find themselves back to square one should Pato be sidelined with yet another injury – and Arsenal fans know that situation first hand.

Midfielder Abou Diaby has also been plagued by injuries since his 2006 move to the Emirates Stadium from Auxerre, limiting the 27 year old to just 123 Premier League appearances in eight seasons with the club. Every year, Arsenal fans insist that 'this is the year for Diaby', only for the Frenchman to get hit with another injury and miss more time, putting pressure on players further down the pecking order.

Whilst Pato is talented – just like Diaby – the legitimate concerns over injuries must factor in for boss Arsene Wenger. That €8m could be put towards a player who doesn't suffer injuries as frequently as Pato, and Arsenal need to sign a striker that can be relied upon to share some of the workload with Giroud.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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