It became obvious recently to many who follow Milan that a Pato move was for the best. While over the past few years he was been linked to England with the likes of Chelsea and Arsenal, a move to Corinthians is the ideal situation, for Pato and Milan.
Why would Milan sell a young striker with so much talent when there is a need for both youth and quality strikers at the club? Here's a look at some of the reasons that Milan can justify the sale and why it was good for Pato as well.
Pato joined Milan from Internacional at 17, leaving home as a boy to become a big-time footballer in Italy.
For some young players, leaving home to become a professional halfway across the world can be difficult. Maybe, that had something to do with Pato's struggles at times in Milan.
When it became clear that a move was on the way, Pato did not want to go to England. He wanted to go home to Brazil. Having some time at home could help Pato better mature as a footballer and then when the time presents itself again, he could return to Europe and be a star once again.
Pato's sale brought in €15 million for Milan, which can now be used to buy a young player that can become a key component in the squad.
Milan have only added one player to the club this month, Empoli midfielder Riccardo Saponara, who will not join until the summer. Adding Saponara alone will not mark a successful mercato.
One player that Milan should consider using the money on is Cagliari center back Davide Astori. The former Milan youth star is a hot item and the Rossoneri, who desperately need help at center back, could benefit from his addition.
Should Astori not end up at Milan, there are several other good options that Milan can go after, such as Vlad Chiriches and Angelo Ogbonna.
Eighteen-year-old M'Baye Niang has not had many chances at Milan since his arrival over the summer, but with Pato gone, his opportunities may increase.
Giampaolo Pazzini seems to be the No. 1 option at Milan right now, but his inconsistency is cause for concern.
Niang got the start on Sunday in a trident with Bojan and Stephan El Shaarawy, but he was not deployed as a striker. He still showed a lot of promise and should get plenty of chances.
It has been obvious that he really just needs time and chances to develop into a star. If he continues to get looks, it will not be long before Niang becomes a player that makes people say, "Pato who?"
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thiago Silva and now Alexandre Pato.
No one is safe.
AC Milan are dedicated to rebuilding their squad. The evidence may not be there yet in terms of signings, but time will show that sales like the one that sent Pato to Corinthians will actually help the club. With the money from such sales, Milan can go out and get at least one quality player that can revitalize the club.
Silvio Berlusconi and Adriano Galliani have promised to build a squad to win championships, and that is what fans should expect to happen.
Already, the current Milan team is better than the one that started the season. Besides the center back position, there is not much else that needs fixing. A touch up in the midfield and maybe an extra boost to the attack as well as a new goalkeeper could make this a difficult club to contend with.
Pato is expected to one day return to Milan if he can repair the injury issues and find a steady run of form.
In fact, according to Silvio Berlusconi, his daughter's boyfriend has promised to return to the club within the next two years, despite signing a four-year contract with Corinthians (via Sambafoot).
Berlusconi's comments add to the speculation that there may be a clause in the deal between Milan and Corinthians that would allow Milan to bring Pato back without any controversy. No confirmation of such a clause has ever been presented, but it is still likely that Milan would be Pato's first choice of destination if he were to return.
If Pato can find his best form and get over the injury crisis that has been his career, he can become a lethal scorer once again and Milan can reap the benefits if they so choose.
In order to return to stardom, Pato's departure was necessary. If he wants to return, expect him to be welcomed with open arms by the club.