Alexandre Pato admits he expected to be given more of a chance to impress during his loan spell with Chelsea.
The Brazilian joined on a loan deal from Corinthians in January to provide cover for the injured Radamel Falcao and Loic Remy, but only managed two Premier League appearances against Aston Villa and Swansea City.
New Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is not expected to make Pato’s loan deal permanent, and the striker concedes he thought he would be given more opportunities to impress under manager Guus Hiddink.
He told SporTV: “I was in his office. I asked to talk, I explained my situation. He was very sincere: ‘Pato, you came at a time when our players were injured. Now they’re coming back, and I’m very loyal to my players’.
“I understand the coach’s decision. I arrived at a time when the group was closed, battling for a place in the Champions league, in decisive games… I was hoping to play more, but I understand the coach’s decision.
“I do not regret [moving to Stamford Bridge]. Chelsea received me very well. I could play, scored a goal, I showed that I can play in Europe, in England. Because many say that England is very difficult. [But] I was hoping to play more.”
Pato is eager to join another club in Europe ahead of next season as he aims to recapture some of the form he displayed during the early part of his five-year spell with AC Milan, which ended in 2012.
“I want to stay in Europe. My head is pointing toward Europe now – I want to play there. But if not, I’ll come back here [to Corinthians],” he said.
“I told my agent that at the moment I do not want to listen to anyone in Brazil. Since I cannot say yes or no at this point, I do not want to make anyone hopeful or angry. Let’s see through July 1 and if nothing happens in Europe we sit and listen to these clubs.”