Chelsea manager Guus Hiddink says Alexandre Pato is fit enough to make his Premier League debut against Norwich City on Tuesday.
The Brazilian has not featured for the Blues since arriving on a six-month loan deal from Corinthians in January due to a lack of match fitness – his last competitive match coming for former loan club Sao Paulo in November.
But with Chelsea facing a hectic schedule over the next few weeks, Hiddink has revealed that the 26-year-old could make his Blues bow at Carrow Road this week.
“He is eager and we now have the strikers where there is a healthy competition in a very good atmosphere,” said the Dutchman, who acknowledged he could rest Diego Costa during the next few games.
“Diego is number one but the others have stepped up, I’m happy, for instance, with Bertrand Traore. Although he’s a young guy, the others might have more status, but I’m not looking at that.
“At the moment to be fair to everyone, [the younger players] are a bit ahead [of Pato] at this moment because I like fair competition and fairness among themselves.
“But he and Remy are also in a position to compete. Pato is not ready for 90 minutes but he is able to play a part of the game. We consider also the chances for some of the younger guys.
“We’ll see this afternoon what the damage is for the injured players.”
Hiddink has also confirmed that Radamel Falcao and captain John Terry have both returned to individual training after muscle injuries, while adding his confidence that Pato can make an impact before the end of the season.
“Let’s hope so, in the near future,” he added. “We have games coming up but like I said before it’s best to have a loan in his situation.
“That way he can get used to us and the club can make a proper judgement on him in performances and training, then it’s for mutual parties the best thing.”
Download our mobile app today.