The vast majority of the 2000’s have seen top flight football in Holland become a proving ground for talented South American youngsters to become acquainted with the European game and put themselves at the forefront of transfer windows to be signed by Europe’s elite.
This past season the title went to PSV Eindhoven and with the World Cup looming the young winger who lead PSV to glory will be looking to carry his form into the tournament where the eyes of the world will be watching.
Profile and position
Lozano is a fleet footed forward, playing anywhere across the front 3, although his starting position for both club is on the right hand side as a forward or winger and from the left for Mexico.
Born in Mexico City in 1995, it wasn’t long till he was on the books of Pachuca Fc, a side situated just 90km north of the capital. El Equipo de Mexico shot to national prominence during 2014, winning both La Clausura (Mexican Domestic League) and the CONCAFAF Champions League.
Lozano finished his time with Pachuca having netted a total of 31 goals in just over 100 games. His move to PSV at a bargain price of 8 million euros came as a bit of an under the radar move, after PSV’s disappointing domestic season in which they finished 3rd.
The move to PSV was a smooth one, the club who have a good reputation within the Latin American community who have had seasoned Mexican internationals Andres Guardado and Hector Moreno on their books and it was these players that were credited with helping Lozano settle so quickly.
These players now are international teammates as well as former club mates and since Lozano’s debut in February 2016 and he has been a regular in the side. Since featuring for El Tri in the Copa America, Confederations Cup and the World Cup qualifiers themselves and has now amassed 28 international caps and 7 goals.
Ricardo Osorio, was the manager that gave the young man his debut for Mexico and cannot speak highly enough about his star turn “”I do think that Hirving could reach one of the top four leagues in the world and be in one of the top four teams in one of those leagues.” (http://www.espn.com/soccer/mexico/story/3444347/juan-carlos-osorio-interested-in-jobs-beyond-mexico-and-tips-hirving-lozano-to-star)
Lozano’s style of play is striking from the first moment the game begins. Blessed with explosive pace allied with an excellent dribbling technique, the young forward has been PSV’s stand out player in their title-winning season.
Raining in 17 goals and 11 assists (https://www.transfermarkt.com/hirving-lozano/leistungsdaten/spieler/316889/plus/0?saison=2017), ‘Chucky’ has fast become a fan favourite and the most feared player in Holland. The modern wide forward, Lozano has all the assets clubs look for and his next move will only see the young player develop more.
Standing at 5’7 (https://www.whoscored.com/Players/318511/Show/Hirving-Lozano), Lozano has a wonderful low centre of gravity and strength on the ball, which allows him to turn quickly out of oncoming challenges and pressure whilst maintaining control of the ball, a common trait amongst some of the very best Latin and South American attackers that have graced the world’s pitches.
The area in that Lozano’s development has come the quickest is with his finishing. Ever since he first took the pitch on his debut, netting the winning goal against Mexico’s biggest team Club Amercia, the goals have come readily and only look to continue and increase in numbers. Throughout his first season playing as the central striker he notched 2 goals in 3 games and showed a committed all action style very similar to Carlos Tevez and Luis Suarez. (see whoscored.com link for the info)
The reason behind this is due to the composure the young man possesses, which is belied by that wide sparkling smile that has more than an air of mischief about it. The forward’s pace allows him to create that extra half-yard of space or moment in time to steady before delivering a deadly finish.
This has not gone unnoticed and watching the player attack he has developed
Not content with only goal scoring, the forward is his sides chief creator and has the ability go both outside and inside of his opposing player and also delivers regular quality, which Luuk De Jong benefited from this past year, scoring 12 goals (whoscored.com) and Javier Hernandez will look to at the World Cup.
The other side of the game
‘Chucky’ though is no saint and has a reputation of being a firebrand and is happy to display that Latin spirit. 2 red cards an elbow and one or two more incidents of provocation (remind you of another certain South American striker) remind you that there is still some room for the young man to grow and mature.
Although this doesn’t seem to concern his current manager, Philip Cocu too much and is something that will be ironed out over the next few years as he plays more games of greater importance for bigger clubs.
Sky’s the limit though for the young forward and it is not only managers that have praised him, its also players. Luis Suarez in particular is a big fan of the Mexican forward and thoroughly believes he can be his replacement at Barcelona https://www.donbalon.com/noticia/detalle/76438/luis-suarez-pone-nombre-sustituto-barca-no-es-caro.
Everton have already been credited with major interest this summer but failed to conclude a deal (their new director of football Marcel Brands, who was an executive at PSV) leaving Lozano to focus on the World Cup.
“Brands brought me to PSV. I’m grateful, happy, but I’m not thinking about whether I’m an option [for Everton],” Lozano said shortly after Brands’ unveiling on Merseyside. “If there is an option to leave we’ll decide what is the best decision for me and my family, but I’m concentrating on the national team.”
It is his all action style and passion that have made him a firm favourite of supporters around the world not just his native Mexico and adopted Holland and it feels only a matter of time before one of the biggest clubs in Europe opens the purse strings and snaps him up.