Napoli have put together a solid transfer window heading into the 2019-20 Serie A season. The additions of Kostas Manolas, Giovanni Di Lorenzo and Eljif Elmas have strengthened an already strong side, and introducing Hirving Lozano into that group adds even more to Carlo Ancelotti’s team.
Currently with Eredivisie side PSV Eindhoven, Lozano has helped the Dutch side to a league title and a second place finish in his two years with them. In his first season with the Eredivisie giants, ‘Chucky’ Lozano led the team in scoring with 17 league goals on the way to their 24th Dutch championship.
Deployed mainly as a winger, Lozano has scored 40 times in 78 appearances in all competitions over his two seasons for the red and whites. Factor in his performances with Mexico, and it makes a proposed move to the Partenopei something for Napoletani to salivate over.
A big part of Lozano’s early success as a player is largely due to his versatility. He plays mainly on the left wing, allowing him to cut in to his preferred right foot and get shots off on goal. If the opportunity isn’t there, Lozano’s pace allows him to get down the line and deliver crosses in for his teammates. However, with Napoli club captain Lorenzo Insigne mainly deployed out on the left, Lozano’s versatility will be key in his possible inclusion to Ancelotti’s side.
Chucky can also play out on the right and, if needed, as a striker. Lozano’s weaker left foot is at a level to where him being utilized as a right-winger wouldn’t diminish his return too much. Seeing as Ancelotti is rumored to switch to a 4-2-3-1 for the upcoming season, Lozano would slot in nicely on either side of the three-man midfield directly behind the striker.
The 24-year-old also offers creativity in attack, with his ability to assist teammates a testament to his vision and technique going forward. In both PSV campaigns, Lozano assisted eight times over the course of the Eredivisie season. In addition to this, he often presses high up the pitch, forcing defenders to make mistakes and allowing for his side to win the ball back in good positions to attack the opposition’s goal.
Youth is also a major positive he can bring to Napoli. While the Partenopei are for the most part a young side, Dries Mertens and Jose Callejon serve as the oldest members of the Napoli attack, both aged 32. Callejon’s spot on the right wing specifically is where Lozano would be an improvement due to his age.
The Spanish winger is famous for having a motor that seems to never stop, as he often goes full throttle on both sides of the ball. Ancelotti has taken notice of this, and so far this preseason he has tested Callejon as a central midfielder in what may be an attempt to give his legs a rest. This also could be in preparation of Lozano’s supposed arrival, which would see Callejon’s minutes out wide reduced drastically to create an opportunity for the 24-year-old.
With all the things Lozano brings to Napoli on the field, he also represents a marketing opportunity. ‘Chucky’ Lozano is a massive star in his native Mexico, his performances with El Tri making him a fan favourite. On top of that, sponsorship deals with Pepsi and Nike add to the global presence the young Mexican winger already has. So if he were to join Napoli, it could lead to an increase in profit for the club, as well as an influx of casual fans who tuned in to watch Lozano play for the Partenopei.
A fee has reportedly been agreed between PSV Eindhoven and Napoli, but the usual issue of image rights for Aurelio De Laurentiis has stalled Hirving Lozano’s arrival at the Stadio San Paolo.
He was their first choice on the transfer market and it would be a great pity to see his arrival scuppered by something that has cancelled Napoli transfers before.