His first kick of a ball was at the young age of 5, and now 14 years later, Oun Al-Lozi is the talk of the Middle East and Europe ahead of a move to La Liga.
He hopes that he can follow the footsteps of Cameroon hero Roger Milla who helped his side become the first African team to reach the World Cup quarter-finals in 1990 at the age of 38. Al-Lozi, however, is aiming to lead Jordan to its first ever World Cup. Is he just another dreamer or can he achieve the impossible?
Who is Oun?
Eid Al-Lozi, Oun’s father, played a huge role in making the Jordanian skipper the player he is today. The man mentored and trained his son for a huge part of his life, helping him in exploring the different areas in which football is played in Jordan; only to help his son adapt to the atmosphere and environments surrounding him.
That wasn’t it for Oun’s father, who also showcased his son’s talents and abilities to top European clubs. Oun, 13 then, was offered two professional contracts by Atletico Madrid and Chelsea after succeeding in trials at both clubs in 2009. Al-Lozi’s parents considered the offer with their son, but decided it was best for him to continue his studies and sign for a local club only in the hope of moving abroad later on.
Oun Al-Lozi has been a key to Al-Ahli’s domestic success this season with an extremely impressive tally as the playmaker has astoundingly contributed to 42 goals in only 16 games, having signed his first professional contract with the club in 2011.
In the 2011-2012 season, Oun helped leading Al-Ahli to the semi-finals of Jordan’s Premier Cup – also known as Al-Manaseer Cup, starting every game and ending up as the tournaments top goal-scorer with 12 goals to his name; 4 further assists helped him win the player of the tournament award. In the following season, Al-Lozi 2 goals in the final of the tournament secured another cup win for Al-Ahli. The player did increase on his tally from the previous season, contributing to 22 goals – 15 goals and 7 assists.
2013-2014 was a difficult season for Al-Lozi as he failed to feature a lot due to him being abroad to complete his University studies in Swansea. The midfielder succeeded, however, in scoring 2 goals and assisting as many in only 2 games in that year’s tournament.
Al-Lozi’s international career started with Jordan’s U16 squad, captaining the team all the way up until he made his breakthrough to the U19 squad. Al-Lozi has made 37 appearances in competitive matches for his country, with his outstanding contributions in the Asian Football Cup qualifications leading to him being named the MVP of the qualifications phase. Al-Lozi has managed to provide 18 assists in all of his caps, but is yet to score his debut goal for Al-Nashama.
Oun Al-Lozi, is set to join Deportivo de La Coruña, after receiving a contract offer from the Spanish club earlier in December. The club has assessed and monitored the midfielder’s abilities – and both parties are set to reach an agreement. He is currently in the process of finishing his paper-work, and is set to head to Spain to meet representatives from the club ahead of signing a one-year contract and join the club’s first team, becoming La Liga’s first ever Jordanian.
Style, Strengths and Weaknesses
Al-Ahli’s manager, Emad Al-Saleh, makes sure to make the most out of Al-Lozi’s technical abilities up front which has proved to be successful. An incredible statistic that reflects on Al-Lozi’s remarkable career with Al-Ahli is that he has never failed to score a goal for the club when playing in his preferred position – central attacking midfielder.
Standing 5 ft 8 and weighing 74kgs, the 19-year-old possesses an extremely strong upper body strength and ends up victorious in most of his physical clashes with opponents. Although preferring to strike the ball with his right, Oun is comfortable on either foot while also being competent in the air. Winning almost all of his aerial duels, he always recovers dispossessed balls and keeps it between his feet.
His excellent distribution of the ball all around the pitch means that he is his club and country’s set piece taker, from corners to free-kicks and penalty kicks. During matches, the Jordanian creates several goal-scoring opportunities for his team-mates and has over 30 assists for both club and country.
Al-Lozi’s main strengths have to be his shooting, especially from long distance. The player is excellent in both placing the ball into the back of net accurately and kicking a few thunderbolts every now and then with his notable shot power. He always takes advantage of moments of periphery by the opponent team, whether it was by creating chances or converting them.
Like every player, Al-Lozi has flaws and weaknesses in certain aspects. The main one has to be his regular complex play, as he always tries to achieve extremely difficult things on the pitch instead of keeping his play simple. It usually works with him but when it doesn’t; the result could become a bit frustrating.
Bibert Kaghado, Professional Diploma (FIFA) holder & former Head Coach and Technical Director of Jordan’s U-19 National Team, had this to say about the youngster.
“Only a few knew Oun before he made the selection for Jordan’s U19 side. I was questioned and fans were intrigued to know more about the new player I picked and given the captaincy to.
The first thing I saw in Oun was his character and tactical awareness. I think he improved drastically ever since I picked him to the National Team. Al-Lozi has good awareness on the field, and has excellent communication with team-mates. I do believe he leads by example. Several captains lead by being very vocal but Oun, however, shows his team-mates what to do and how by always giving 100%.
I have a lot faith in Oun and I believe he has the required skills, mentality and talent to succeed and become a top player. Of course, it won’t be an easy process as he has to keep on working hard, training intensively and be patient in order to make it as a professional.
Oun can be the best player he can be, and will definitely become a member of Jordan’s first team in the years to come. I think he will have a great impact on Jordanian football. During my time as his manager, I always pushed him to move forward and grab opportunities while he can. Al-Lozi is still young, and has years ahead of him. I wish him nothing but the best of luck!”
Written by Waleed Abu Nada
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