In what can be considered a good summer for the Partenopei, they secured the services of the highly rated Mexican left winger, Hirving “Chucky” Lozano from PSV Eindhoven in the Dutch Eredivisie.
The deal set the Naples club back €42m, Napoli’s record spending for player acquisition as well as PSV’s record sale. Lozano signing for Napoli has also made him Mexico’s most expensive player.
Before his injury in the latter stages of last season, Lozano had contributed nine goals to PSV’s season as they finished second to Ajax in the league. In the season before last, he was the league’s top scorer with 17 goals as PSV won the Eredivisie title. In only a few years in the Netherlands, Hirving Lozano had become a household name, scoring 34 goals in 60 league appearances for the Dutch club and 40 goals in 74 appearances overall.
He has been capped 35 times by the Mexican national team and has scored nine goals for them, including one in the 2018 World Cup victory over the 2014 world champions Germany, winning the man of the match award in the process. He was one of the revelations of the global showpiece which cast his career in a positive light.
Standing at 5ft 9in, he has a low centre of gravity which enables him to be quick on his feet on and off the ball. Mainly right-footed, he has established himself on the left wing but can also be played centrally as a striker and on the left wing. He is a good crosser of the ball, an excellent dribbler, a good set piece taker with an amazing shot who is not afraid of taking shots from distance. His left-foot is as strong too, making it difficult for opposition defenders when he is running down the right wing because he can invert his runs and either cross or shoot with his right foot, or deliver a good cross with his left.
His defensive contribution is sometimes overlooked as he is a tireless worker who can cover the ground between defense and attack in little or no time. His pressing ability is his biggest defensive quality, as he helps the team behind him compete while he disturbs the opposition in the frontlines. This ability of his sometimes causes the opposition goalkeepers and defenders to make errors which have led to a good number of his goals.
He is a bit poor tactically, as he rushes into tackles and misreads situations sometimes. He also has poor discipline which makes him go into confrontations a lot on the field. Despite being just 24 years old, he has racked up eight red cards and has been compared to Barcelona striker Luis Suarez due to his reactionary side.
He plays on the same wing as Napoli star man, Lorenzo Insigne, and we have compared both their attributes as can be seen above. The only attribute where he just edges out Insigne is in technicality, which means he is a better ball handler than Il Magnifico, and manager Carlo Ancelotti will appreciate having such a player on his team. We can also see how close he is to Insigne in quality, which means he can deputise for Insigne in matches where Il Magnifico would be rested.
We are expecting this blistering forward to light the Serie A up when given the opportunity, and Napoli may have a problem holding on to him in the future as he improves under Ancelotti’s tutelage.