Saturday October 17 2020
Lozano key to Napoli title hopes?

Hirving Lozano has had a great start to the season and Ciro Di Brita asks if it will be enough for Napoli to become credible title contenders.

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.

Have your say...
@Anonymous: Maybe it would have been better if you skipped Crotone with that absolutely humiliating display lmao. Did the referee not get his bribe on time?!
on the 19th October, 2020 at 3:31pm
How much more complaining and acting like a spoiled kid could Agnelli do? Did he think Napoli were afraid to play them? More likely, he saw an easy way for 3 points. Act like a man already. What an embarrassment to the Agnelli family. And the organization. And Italian football.
on the 18th October, 2020 at 8:47pm
@ Napoli..

they stay home, cancel their hotel and flights well before any government authorities told them to do so, and now he screams "gives us our points back". lol

Games are not played when it's convenient for you.

They are played when they are scheduled.

Should we have decided not to go to Crotone today because Weston and Ronaldo were out due to COVID?

You are an idi#t
on the 18th October, 2020 at 1:18am
Napoli will never have a chance,

We saw it in Sarri’s first season where Juve had a dubious 22 win streak, and in Sarri’s last season where Juve were gifted the game against Inter when Napoli was about to overtake them that it is impossible.

Give us our points back and play the game cheaters.
on the 17th October, 2020 at 8:53pm
I disagree with the author's conclusion that it is "far too early" to consider Napoli as a title threat. In three games, it has scored twelve goals and conceded one. It has also played games in two different formations, both of which have proven effective as the team has dominated its three opponents.

The only blot is the hopefully temporary verdict against Napoli that took away a point and gave them a defeat they almost certainly would not have suffered.

Is Napoli a contender? Absolutely!
on the 17th October, 2020 at 8:41pm

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