Mexican Right-winger, Hirving “El Chucky” Lozano has had an amazing turnaround season with S.S.C Napoli.
With his blistering speed, Lozano would seem to be just what Napoli lacked. Carlo Ancelotti, the manager of Napoli at the time, saw this and was willing to invest heavily in him. Lozano was transferred to Napoli from PSV Eindhoven before the 2019/2020 season for $38.5 Million.
Scoring a debut goal against Seria A giant, Juventus, it looked as if things were off to a great start.
In December of 2019, Carlo Ancelotti was sacked. It was a controversial decision made by the owner of Napoli, Aurelio De Laurentii.
The man who invested so heavily into Chucky was gone and who be there to replace him in the middle of the season? Gennaro Gattuso was appointed to replace Ancelotti no more than a week later.
Lozano had transferred from an average league with PSV to the most-defensive league in the world. Apart from making a transition, he was also being played out of position. Gattuso had his mind set on playing Lozano as a false 9 regardless of his natural winger position.
Needless to say, Lozano had an underwhelming season with 39 appearances and a measly five goals.
The relationship between the two went sour and it felt as if it was Lozano slander from Gattuso week after week. There countless rumors of a transfer for Lozano, and he was even kicked from practice once.
Lozano’s future at the club wasn’t looking good.
Over the summer, something happened to Hirving Lozano. Maybe it was the getting kicked from practice, maybe it was something internal driving him, regardless of what it was, it turned him into a monster.
In a September interview with ESPN, Gattuso stated, “‘I am not giving Lozano any leeway, so he is a different player now,’ Gattuso told Sky Sport Italia. ‘When he arrived, he was not at 100 percent mentally or physically. He would kick the ball and fall over like a child, now he has strength in his legs.’”
“’[Gattuso] has his way of being, he is direct, and when he gets angry he is an ogre … I have learned how to interact with the coach and how to handle him. The experience that I had last year opened my eyes. He’s a good person, I don’t have any doubt about that,’” said Lozano in an ESPN interview in November.
Lozano and Gattuso seem to have bettered their relationship significantly since the last season. Not only does he start for Napoli, but he’s also currently their top scorer at 11 goals and four assists in only 26 appearances.
This last Sunday, January 24, 2021, Lozano tore Napoli’s record for the quickest goal apart. At 8.95 seconds, it was the third-fastest goal in Serie A history.
Lozano has made a major comeback and is now playing like El Chucky again.