By David Horrocks, MSc Football Coaching & Analysis Programme Leader at Etihad Campus, Mike Phelan and UCFB Alumni James Radcliffe

David has recently submitted a PhD thesis on elite performance completed with players and staff from Manchester United Football Club. The thesis has two published papers to date: Manchester United and Serial Winning, and Gary Neville – A Case Study. David also has a first class degree in Sport Psychology from the University of Central Lancashire.

Each time the world cup comes around, new stars are born, the transfer market goes crazy and the world is an open mic stage to stardom for every footballer involved. Who will be this year’s previously unidentified flying object and earn a big money transfer to one of Europe’s football powerhouses just like Colombia’s James Rodriguez did in Brazil 2012.

The Sensible Soccer World Cup blog will bring scouting know how direct from the battlefield of English Premier League recruitment directors and chief scouts. The blog will be opening the lid on just who is being watched ahead of Russia’s six-week footballing bonanza.

Hirving Lozano
Lozano has only spent one season in European football, joining Dutch giants PSV from Pachuca in July 2017 but has been linked with prestigious clubs such as Manchester United and Manchester City over the last few years. At just 22 years old he still has room to develop but will enter the World Cup in the best form of his career. In 29 league appearances for PSV he has scored 17 goals and assisted 11. Lozano was also El Tri’s top scorer in the qualifying campaign with 4 goals.

A skillful and pacey winger, he is capable of playing on either wing comfortably. Over his first season at PSV, he has averaged 2.1 dribbles, 2.6 key passes and 3.4 shots per game. This reveals that he is able to easily beat the opposition full-back in order to create a goal-scoring opportunity for himself or a teammate. His exploits have not gone unnoticed either after he was named in the Eredivisie Team of the Season in his debut campaign with PSV. Question marks have only been raised about his ability due to the strength of the competitions in which he has featured.

The World Cup will provide him with the perfect platform to prove that he has the ability to compete at the very highest level. Mexico will face Germany, Sweden and South Korea in their group where the El Tri will be aiming to clinch the second spot to reach the last 16. Lozano’s direct attacking play will be key in order to provide a counter-attacking threat against the top seed from Group F, should they make it out of the group.