Why Sheffield United should reignite interest in Hirving Lozano in January
According to claims from Tutto Sport (h/t Sheffield Star), Sheffield United made a £9million bid to sign Napoli winger Hirving Lozano on a season-long loan deal before the international summer deadline. However, a move to Bramall Lane failed to materialise for the Mexican, who eventually ended up staying at Napoli despite having a fall-out with manager Gennaro Gattuso.
Hirving Lozano rose to prominence with Pachuca in his native Mexico during the 2013-14 season and went on to accumulate 44 goals in 152 appearances for his boyhood club in all competitions. He won the domestic title and CONCACAF Champions League crown in 2016-17 before completing a move to Europe with Dutch giants PSV Eindhoven.
The 25-year-old made an instant impact in the Dutch top-flight, plundering an astonishing 17 goals and 8 assists to propel Eindhoven to the Eredivisie title in 2017-18. He went on to achieve exactly the same tally, both in terms of goals and assists, in the following campaign. He finished his career at Eindhoven with 40 goals and 23 assists in 79 appearances.
Lozano’s heroics in the Netherlands prompted Napoli to fork out a staggering £38million to sign the Mexican in the summer of 2019. However, the diminutive winger struggled to live up to the expectations last season, scoring just 4 goals in 26 appearances in the Serie A.
He found himself down the pecking order following the dismissal of former boss Carlo Ancelotti and ended the 2019-20 season with just 10 league starts under his belt.
A full international for Mexico since 2016, Lozano has bagged 10 goals in 39 appearances for his nation, representing El Tri at the 2016 Copa America, 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup and the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Lozano would add more firepower to United’s attack
Sheffield United roped in Oliver Burke and Rhian Brewster from West Brom and Liverpool respectively to bolster their attack in the summer after managing just 39 goals in the Premier League last term. The Blades have endured a dismal start to the 2020-21 campaign, suffering four straight defeats before the international break.
The fact that Chris Wilder’s side have failed to find the net in three of their opening four league fixtures so far clearly indicates that they have continued to struggle for creativity and firepower in front of goal.
It remains to be seen whether Brewster and Burke could have a transformative impact on United’s fortunes in the final third, but lack of goals surely remains a pressing concern for the time being.
To put things into perspective, the Blades shouldn’t hesitate to make a renewed attempt to sign Hirving Lozano when the transfer window reopens in January. The Mexican wizard might have struggled to make a big impact in Italy but he remains an explosive wide player capable of adding that much-needed X-Factor to United’s toothless attack.
A potential deal for Lozano would not only add more depth and quality to United’s ranks but also increase competition for places. The Blades have largely relied on their wing-backs to spark creativity from the wide areas of the pitch and the arrival of a top-quality winger like Lozano would offer Wilder something different to work with.
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The very fact that Sheffield United offered as much as £9million to sign Hirving Lozano on loan in the summer is enough to understand that the Blades were genuinely interested in him. With Lozano hardly a regular starter at Napoli, Chris Wilder’s side should go back in the market to secure the Mexican’s services as he looks more than capable of changing the whole complexion of United’s attack.