Hirving Lozano’s brace in Napoli’s 4-1 drubbing of Atalanta saw the winger finally come of age for the Partenopei.
The Mexico International has four goals in three games so far this season and is starting to justify every penny of the €42mthe Azzurri paid PSV Eindhoven in August 2019.
Last season was a tough one for the 25-year-old despite scoring on his debut in a 4-3 defeat to Juventus. His arrival under the Vesuvius was marred by mutiny, change of coach, and the coronavirus outbreak which caused a massive disruption on his early period in the peninsula.
These off the field issues cumulated in Lozano even being sent home from training by his new coach Gennaro Gattuso for apparently not putting in enough effort.
A quick exit from the San Paolo looked on the cards in the last transfer window, with Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton and Manchester United rumoured to be interested.
Fortunately, for Lozano and Napoli, something clicked during the lockdown as he impressed enough in his few cameos after the restart to convince Gattuso to push for his stay.
In the Azzurri’s opening three league games he has formed a devastatingly attacking force alongside the club’s record signing Victor Osimhen and Dries Mertens.
Osimhen arrived from French side Lille in the summer for €70m and scored his first goal for the Neapolitans against Atalanta.
Lozano, Osimhen, Mertens, and Matteo Politano harried and pressed the Nerazzurri backline firing in four goals in a 20-minute and leaving Gian Piero Gasperini scratching his head.
The Orobici were completely outplayed in the first half and were unable to cope with the pace, strength, movements, and positioning of Napoli’s front four. With Lorenzo Insigne yet to return from injury and Andrea Petagna waiting in the wings, Gattuso’s men certainly have the fire power to set down a marker in the Scudetto race.
Before the season kicked off, nobody would think about Napoli as possible title winners, with Juventus, Inter, and even Atalanta being touted as favourites. But something has changed. Now, of course it is far too early to be talking about potential Serie A winners but the trend is extremely positive for the Azzurri who can rely on a reborn Lozano. A much-needed extra ace up Gattuso’s sleeve.
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