Everton are set to make a move to sign Napoli winger Hirving Lozano in January, according to sources close to Premier League Central.
If Carlo Ancelotti fails to get his man in the winter window, he will push once again in the summer.
Mexican sensation Lozano played under the Italian boss for a few months last season before Ancelotti was replaced by Gennaro Gattuso in the Napoli dugout.
The 61-year-old is clearly a fan of the player as he sanctioned a €42m move to sign him from PSV in summer 2019.
Their short time in Naples was enough to convince Ancelotti that Lozano is the next piece of his puzzle at Goodison Park.
Lozano, known as Chucky after the doll in the Child’s Play horror film series, would surely jump at the chance to move to England to work under one of the most successful managers in football history once again.
It is not yet clear exactly how much it would cost to sign the player or if Napoli would even consider selling a player that has made a bright start to the season.
Lozano would add much-needed attacking depth
A key reason for Everton targeting Lozano is the lack of attacking depth currently at the club.
The aforementioned duo has proved to be fantastic for the Merseyside outfit and contributed massively to their astonishing start to the season.
The Toffees won their opening four games of the Premier League season. They sat at the top of the table for a while.
This changed when they drew 2-2 in the Merseyside derby in October.
Key forward Richarlison was sent off for a challenge on Thiago late in the game. This resulted in him being suspended for Everton’s next three games.
They went on to lose each one of these matches, scoring just twice in total.
The Brazilian is clearly a big loss in attack, so it makes sense to sign another forward in order to prevent such a significant downgrade if he is unavailable.
Both Bernard and Alex Iwobi have their strengths, but when they play alongside James and Dominic Calvert-Lewin in a front three there is a severe lack of pace in the side.
Lozano would bring pace in abundance.
His ability to play on either flank is a big plus. This means that he would not just be an understudy to Richarlison, but a regular starter on the opposite wing when both players are fit.
A front three of Lozano, Calvert-Lewin and Richarlison would be a scintillating prospect. James could move to the No 10 role, or even into a deeper midfield position.
Allan does enough defending to provide cover, while Abdoulaye Doucoure has also improved his defensive contribution this season.
His progress has stalled in Italy
Lozano will hope that he can rediscover his best form if this move materializes. He has so far failed to live up to his massive price tag in Serie A.
This season has seen a big improvement already. He has already matched last season’s tally for both goals and assists after just six games.
His manager Gatusso claimed during an interview with DAZN (via AS): “He has rediscovered himself this season. I want to see him improve, to improve his passing and he has to be more influential in each match.”
While he has made a promising start, it is important to note that all of his goals came in just two games. He got a pair of braces in back-to-back victories over Genoa and Atalanta. He has overperformed his xG by 1.81 goals.
Lozano has also played some bad games in both Serie A and the Europa League. Fans must not get too excited about his season just yet.
However, it is for sure that he has the makings of a great player. He proved this during his time in Holland.
At 25-years-old, Lozano should be entering his peak years in the next few seasons. It is still unclear whether he will fulfil his obvious potential.
Everton have clearly decided that he is worth the risk. It now seems up to the player and his club and whether they will agree to the move.