Welcome to Napoli – Hirving Lozano

Napoli has just returned to Italy after a successful trip to the United States. The Partenopei stayed busy up until it was time for the friendlies with FC Barcelona in the US, and it looks like things aren’t going to slow down following their return to Italy.

The additions of Kostas Manolas, Giovanni Di Lorenzo, and Eljif Elmas have kept tifosi at bay during the transfer window; there are three major names (you know which names) that have been consistently linked to Napoli that are yet to complete a move to the club, however, there is one that seems set to finally join Napoli. 

After what feels like months of negotiations, Mexican winger Hirving ‘Chucky’ Lozano finally seems set to join the Partenopei in a deal that has been long awaited for by tifosi. 

The Pride of Mexico

Lozano has quickly become an international household name in world football and has established himself as one of the best young players in the world. Before announcing himself on the European stage with PSV Eindhoven, though, Chucky was making a name for himself in his native Mexico with Liga MX side C.F. Pachuca.

Born in the capital of Mexico, Mexico City, Lozano left home at the age of 11 to join Pachuca’s academy in 2009. He spent five years with Los Tuzos (The Gophers) youth team before making his senior debut against Club America on February 8, 2014. Only 19-years-old, Chucky scored the game winning goal against one of Mexico’s biggest clubs and announced himself to the Mexican people. 

Lozano spent three years as a part of the Pachuca senior team, a time period in which he made 140 appearances, scored 41 goals, assisted 28 goals, and won the Liga MX Clausura in 2016 and the 2016/17 CONCACAF Champions League. Naturally, Europe came calling, and PSV brought Chucky to arguably the best league for youth talent in the Eredivisie. 

Breakthrough at PSV

‘Chucky’ Lozano joined Dutch giants PSV in 2017 and quickly got to work with them. Lozano scored in his first three league appearances for PSV, becoming the first player to do so in the club’s history. Chucky didn’t slow down, he went on to score 17 times throughout the course of the 2017/18 Eredivisie season on route to a league title in his first season in Europe. 

Following his first season at PSV, Lozano traveled to Russia for the 2018 FIFA World Cup as a part of the Mexican National Team. In Mexico’s first match of the group stages, he scored the match-winner against the reigning World Cup champions, Germany. On world football’s biggest stage, Lozano extended his stardom beyond his home nation. 

After leading his side in scoring in his first year in the Netherlands, and an impressive World Cup campaign, Lozano again scored 17 goals in the 2018/19 season; a season that also saw Chucky make his Champions League debut. Over the course of the UCL group stage, Lozano scored against both Inter and Tottenham. Despite his performances, he and his side weren’t able to defy the odds to make it out of a stacked group.

Lozano suffered an unfortunate injury in April 2019, sidelining him for the remainder of the season. Aside from his injury, it did not deter bigger clubs from around Europe to look past him.

What Lozano Brings to Napoli

The obvious thing that Lozano would bring to Napoli is his scoring capabilities. A proven goalscorer, Chucky plays in a similar way to Lorenzo Insigne; deployed primarily as a left winger, he often cuts in to move the ball to his stronger right foot and fire a shot on goal. On top of that, Lozano has no problem taking the ball down the left hand side and delivering a cross into the box.

In addition to being a scoring option, ‘Chucky’ Lozano provides versatility and youth in the attack. While Lozano prefers playing out left, he can also be utilized on the right wing and up top as a striker. The 24-year-old loves to take defenders on and create space for either himself or his teammates to have a look at goal, and his finishing is at a level where deploying him as a striker wouldn’t diminish his return much. His ability to play out on the right makes him the perfect option to take up Jose Callejon’s mantle, seeing as the Spaniard is 32-years-old and has a lot of miles on his legs. 

Off the field, Lozano provides a massive marketing opportunity due to his popularity in his native Mexico. His performances with El Tri have made him a fan favorite, and his sponsorships with organizations like Pepsi and Nike have grown his global presence. If ‘Chucky’ Lozano does join Napoli, it’s possible that we could see a massive influx of casual fans tuning in to the Partenopei to see him plays, as well as an increase of profits for the club. 

Multiple sources are reporting that a deal to send Lozano to Napoli is done, with La Gazzetta dello Sport reporting he will have his medical with the club this week. The reported €42 million Euro price tag would make Lozano Napoli’s most expensive signing of all time, and while that may be a risk for Aurelio De Laurentiis financially, ‘Chucky’ Lozano promises to be a massive signing for Napoli all across the board. 


By Massimo Nuzzo

 

 

 

 

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