MEXICO CITY -- PSV Eindhoven winger and Mexico international Hirving Lozano is not long for the Eredivisie, at least according to those who watched him last season. A good World Cup could be the catalyst for a major transfer fee, possibly to the Premier League.
Lozano moved from Liga MX outfit Pachuca to PSV in the summer of 2017, signing a six-year contract at the Dutch giants. He notched 17 goals in 29 league matches for PSV, finishing the season as their top scorer as PSV won the league title.
"You know, I've seen him play the whole season. Every game. If I was a manager at a big club in England, I would take Lozano with my eyes closed," said Marco Timmer, PSV beat reporter for Voetbal International. "He's very good. He has big drive, not something you see often in Holland."
Lozano's impressive performances have made waves across Europe. There were rumors of interest from Manchester United as far back as 2016, when the Mexican was still plying his trade in his home country. Shortly before he signed with PSV, Lozano was linked to Manchester City and since then other teams have joined the hunt, despite the grain of salt that is required when reading any transfer rumor.
To that point, Mexican media apparently mistook a listicle from an English website as genuine interest from Chelsea. Perhaps more seriously, Arsenal and Liverpool were named as potential destinations last December while outside of England, Spanish side Valencia apparently threw their hat into the ring for Lozano's services.
The more likely landing spot, however, is a team firmly planted outside of England's top six. Everton signed former PSV executive Marcel Brands in May and there is a strong sense that after the World Cup, Lozano will follow the man responsible for his initial European signing to England and, more specifically, to the Toffees.
"I think he's a player for every team. For him it is good to move to a team that is not at the absolute top. Everton would be a right move," said Timmer. "[Lozano will] score 15 goals there and he'll be ready for bigger clubs. It's a step he has to take."
The link between Brands, Lozano and Everton is no secret and the player has been directly questioned about a potential transfer to the Premier League outfit next summer.
"Brands brought me to PSV. I'm grateful, happy, but I'm not thinking about whether I'm an option [for Everton]," Lozano said shortly after Brands' unveiling on Merseyside. "If there is an option to leave we'll decide what is the best decision for me and my family, but I'm concentrating on the national team."
A star showing at the World Cup, however, might attract suitors that could price Lozano out of Everton's reach despite those strong links. Along with Carlos Vela and Javier Hernandez, the former Pachuca player is expected to lead Mexico's attack in a tough group stage against Germany, Sweden and South Korea.
"If he plays a good World Cup, bigger clubs in bigger competitions will fight their way to the door of PSV to start negotiations," said Timmer.
Under the watchful eye of the whole world (and top European club scouts), a string of brilliant performances could place Lozano even closer to fulfilling a longstanding ambition. "He wants to play for Manchester United, that is his dream."
Should a team like United really come knocking, it's possible Lozano would be able to deliver right away.
"When Lozano goes to a bigger competition, with better players and he has to improve again -- that's what he's done all his life. Adapt to a bigger level," said Timmer.