Pato warned he faces battle as Traore continues to impress

Bertrand Traore scored in the 5-1 win against City

Guus Hiddink says Bertrand Traore’s emergence means recent signing Pato has three forwards currently ahead of him in the Chelsea pecking order. 

Brazilian Pato is nearing full fitness but boss Hiddink says he now considers the 20-year-old Traore, who has scored three goals after coming on a substitute this season, as a serious rival for a place in the Blues attack.

Hiddink said: “Pato needs to get his sharpness to be competitive. And also with the youngsters we have because now we have three strikers available, plus Falcao who is injured.

“Diego Costa is doing his job very well and I am rather satisfied – although he is a youngster with no big international name – with Traore. He [Pato] has to compete with a position there.”

Traore has scored three goals in seven substitute appearances this season but is yet to start a match.

The on-loan Falcao has returned to light training but is still not close to a return.