Why Everton would be smart to offer Hirving Lozano an escape route
According to claims from Calciomercato (h/t Daily Express), Everton boss Carlo Ancelotti is eyeing up a second successive raid on his former club Napoli for Mexican winger Hirving Lozano. The Italian boss has already brought in Brazilian midfielder Allan from the Serie A outfit this summer and he is now keen to reunite with Lozano at Goodison Park.
As per the source, the Toffees are expected to launch an official bid for the 25-year-old, who has struggled to produce his best since swapping PSV Eindhoven for Napoli last summer. It has also been claimed that Gennaro Gattuso’s side could opt to cash in on the winger before the deadline, thus making a move to Everton a real possibility.
Hirving Lozano shot to prominence with Pachuca in his native Mexico and gradually carved out a big reputation for himself as one of the best young players across the nation. The 25-year-old nagged 41 goals and 28 assists in 141 appearances, guiding Pachuca to the domestic title and the CONCACAF Champions League in 2016-17.
The Mexican international earned a move to Europe with Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven in the summer of 2017 and was pivotal to the club’s Eredivisie triumph in his debut campaign, contributing with 17 goals and 8 assists.
Lozano’s stocks rocketed higher than ever after catching the eye for Mexico at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where he scored against Germany. The right-footed winger also impressed in the UEFA Champions League in the following campaign, thus prompting Napoli to splash the cash on him last summer.
Ancelotti was the manager responsible for bringing Lozano to Naples but the 25-year-old went on to endure a frustrating debut season in Italy that also coincided with the dismissal of the current Everton boss. The Mexican star only scored 5 goals in 34 appearances across all competitions last term. He started just 10 Serie A games in the process.
Lozano would add some real quality to Everton’s attack
Despite his failure to adapt to life in Italy, Hirving Lozano remains a swashbuckling talent with immense potential. He was quite unstoppable in the Eredivisie, while also proving his worth in the World Cup and the Champions League.
The Mexican winger knows Everton’s director of football Marcel Brands very well from his days at Eindhoven, as well as Ancelotti from his time at Napoli. Hence, the presence of familiar faces around him at Goodison Park should go a long way towards helping him acclimatise to his new surroundings if a move to Merseyside does materialise.
Everton have already signed Abdoulaye Doucoure and Allan to restructure their midfield unit. They have also roped in James Rodriguez from Real Madrid to improve the quality of their supply lines after struggling for creativity last term.
Those signings clearly indicate that the Toffees are allowing Ancelotti to build a team in his own image to try and push for a return to Europe next year. However, there are still several areas that require some investment. Lozano’s arrival would hand a significant boost to Everton’s wide attacking options.
Ancelotti didn’t show much trust in Bernard last season, with the Brazilian only playing a bit-part role in the Premier League. It was reported earlier in the year that the 28-year-old could be sold this summer to make room for a new player.
Theo Walcott remains a high-profile option for the Toffees out wide but the former England international seems well past his prime. It goes without saying that Everton need some upgrades on their wide attacking options after Walcott and Bernard shared only 5 league goals among them last term.
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Hirving Lozano, to that end, could be another statement signing for the Toffees with one eye on the future. The Mexican boasts of the versatility to play out wide on either flank, while his sparkling track record of goals and assists means that he is capable of adding more firepower to Everton’s attack.
Having said that, Ancelotti completing a second successive raid on Napoli for the 25-year-old this summer could pay off handsomely for Everton’s long-term plans.