Mexico’s World Cup is over and Hirving Lozano was one of the breakout performers.
Lozano was one of the highlights, not only for El Tri, but of the entire group stages. His dazzling dribbling, defensive work-rate and dogged determination to impact things in the final third allowed him to be the difference-maker in Mexico’s two wins in Russia. Lozano scored the winner against World Champions Germany and then set-up Javier Hernandez’s winner against Korea Republic.
As always, electric displays at a World Cup inevitably lead to transfer speculation, this is doubled if you’re not already at an elite club. Hirving Lozano just helped PSV win the Eredivisie during his first season in the Netherlands, but word on the street is that the big clubs want to make that his only season in the Netherlands. And who could blame them?
We’ve had a look at all the options for Lozano, the potential destinations, and come up with a list of four possible places where Hirving Lozano could be plying his trade in 2018/19.
After Antoine Griezmann rejected Barcelona, they needed to find a new wing-forward. The World Cup drew their eyes to Mexico and Lozano, with the player’s father has spoken positively of the possibility. “Barca? There are approaches, yes, but nothing’s very clear yet,” he said, per the Express. “We’ll talk after the World Cup.”
#SquawkaScout: Hirving Lozano
• 75 chances created
• 61 take-ons
• 17 goals
• 8 assists
You’d be lucky to get Chucky. 🤡 pic.twitter.com/lcFblxHktP
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) July 5, 2018
Well, it’s after the World Cup (for Mexico, anyway) so Barcelona should begin to make their move now. Lozano is a perfect fit for them; a hard-working winger who is capable of playing an orthodox role on the right but shines even more when inverted on the left, cutting in off the flank to score or create as he did for Mexico vs. Germany and Korea.
Playing with Leo Messi would unleash Lozano. He had 19 goals in all competitions during 2017/18, but when paired with the greatest player in the world, who is an exquisite playmaker, you can imagine Lozano will be getting a lot more looks at goal. His arrival would also facilitate a tactical change-up where Barcelona play a false nine with Messi flanked by Lozano and Ousmane Dembélé.
The pace and technique needed to play for Barcelona is high, but Lozano has what it takes. He’d also join in a fine Mexican tradition at the Camp Nou, following the footsteps of the Dos Santos brothers and the living legend that is Rafael Márquez. But Barcelona have a lot of positions to reinforce and have more players to sign and no non-EU slots available to register Lozano with, so this must remain a dream.
For so many of these transfer sagas where a hot young prospect is linked to a whole host of top clubs there’s always the nagging inevitability that they will end up signing for a second tier side in a disappointing lateral career move. So of course, Hiving Lozano is also being linked to Everton amongst the Champions League sides.
The main reason is that former PSV’s former director of football Michael Brands, is currently director of football for Everton. Brands was the man who took Lozano to PSV in the first place and would love to take him to Merseyside. Playing for Everton there is no doubt that Lozano would be the team’s main star almost immediately.
Lozano would also be exactly the kind of winger that Everton need, consistently dynamic and willing to work hard in order to score and create from wide areas. This is by far the most likely scenario as Everton have the money to be able to pay for Lozano as well as the squad make-up to make “Chucky” their star player whilst still leaving the door open for a big move later.
Wildcard: Manchester United
Manchester United were actually linked to Hirving Lozano for the first time last summer. The idea was that he would be the new Mexican star at Old Trafford and fill the very obvious right-wing void in the team. United declined to move for him and instead… didn’t sign a right-winger. So now here we are one year on and United still need a right-winger.
It’s obvious to see where Lozano fits in with United. The Red Devils are a side desperately in need of a winger to play on the right. Someone with pace and dribbling skills, but who is confident heading down the outside and sending crosses and cutbacks into the box for Romelu Lukaku. United need some creativity, a dash of spice and delight, someone who can wake up a sleeping crowd.
Lozano fits perfectly, but his lack of experience and extravagant play style will no doubt put Mourinho off. The Portuguese is notorious for his distrust of maverick wingers and has already turfed Henrikh Mkhitaryan out of Old Trafford and is about to do the same to Anthony Martial, so this can only be a wildcard.
Squawka Suggests: Bayern Munich
Obviously there are many great options for a player as talented as Hirving Lozano, but none of the ones being bandied about make as much sense as Bayern Munich. Firstly there’s the fact that the Bundesliga is an exciting league in which transition football is the king; this means more space for Lozano to dribble and run into than there may be facing packed defences for Barcelona.
Moreover, Bayern Munich are an elite side with a virtual monopoly over their domestic league. That means regular title wins for Lozano as well as consistent qualification for the latter stages of the Champions League. Finally there’s the fact that Bayern are a side notorious for playing with dynamic wingers in recent years.
Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery made themselves icons in Bavaria, and both men are coming to the end of their careers now. Bayern already have Kingsley Coman coming through to replace one of them, why not Lozano for the other spot? It would obviously be a left-field deal, but it could give Lozano a nurturing environment in which to become a legend.
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