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North American Young Player of the Year 2016: Hirving Lozano | Talent Radar

Under our Talent Radar banner, we have constantly strived to document and highlight the progress of the younger stars of the beautiful game, before they progress into household names. Our latest initiative within the burgeoning Talent Radar section is the introduction of #The7 feature.

The second edition of this annual feature champions the combination of youth & diversity, as we look to reward seven of the best young individuals across seven primary categories. 


Expert Talk | Here’s what ESPN FC’s Tom Marshall told OOTB:

Hirving Lozano‘s 2016 seemed to be one long crescendo up to the Copa America and Olympics. He’d just helped Pachuca to the Clausura 2016 title, impressed for the full national team and there was talk of interest from big European clubs. The Olympics, however, were a nightmare for Lozano, who ended up on the bench for Mexico’s final game. However, the speedy winger — right-footed, but often featuring on the left — was again excellent for Pachuca when he returned. The 21-year-old remains one of Mexico’s brightest young talents and his future surely lies on the other side of the Atlantic.

Pachuca have seen somewhat of a renaissance in the relatively recent past after spending some time in the footballing wilderness. From a neutral perspective, the club’s success has been a breath of fresh air as it has been done in the “right” way. The defending Champions have achieved success on the back of an approach focusing on the development of young, talented players; players such as Hirving “Chucky” Lozano.

Lozano’s emergence in the Liga MX and more recently at the International stage has seen the spotlight focused on the youngster with plenty of talk surrounding a potential move to Manchester United, among others. No such move materialized in the past transfer window but it seems like a matter of time before the Pachuca star plies his trade in Europe.

The 21-year-old is the archetypal modern day winger with a tendency to drift in-field rather than hug the touchline. Lozano plays most often on the left wing but has already shown that he has the tools to play on the right side or indeed in a more central role. When the winger does cut inside from the left, one can expect a powerful shot on goal to soon follow, sometimes to the annoyance of teammates who are in better positions and entitled to expect a pass.

Lozano has been ear-marked for a move to Europe for a while now with his physical prowess ensuring that adjustment to that aspect of the game should not be a major factor. With pace and plenty of dribbling ability to count on, the 21-year-old has attracted the close attention of defenders on the pitch and no doubt scouts off it.

2016 was a busy year for the Mexican as he featured for his country in both the Copa America and the Olympics but ultimately had to face disappointment in both competitions. With Pachuca’s elimination from the Apertura at the hands of newly promoted Nexaca, it remains to be seen if Lozano will feature for the side in the Clausura. There are still question marks on his consistency as you’d expect from a young winger but with his undoubted ability, one can expect him to polish his game and feature in Europe in the near future.

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