Jose Manuel Lopez should be announced as the new striker for Palm trees in the coming days. At the age of 21, the player is treated as an Argentine football discoverer and arrives in Brazil with the responsibility of being the number 9 dreamed of being the two-time Libertadores champion.
Born in a town of no more than three thousand people in the interior of Argentina, “Flaco” made his first steps in the amateur teams in the region, was appointed and released by Independiente, and suffered a serious injury that made him consider leaving football, but was able to Detour at Lanús. The next assignment should be the first experience outside the motherland.
under the General Electric Details some of Jose Manuel Lopez’s still short and intense career.
Jose Manuel Lopez, from Lanús – Photo: Lanús/Publicity
Born in San Lorenzo, a city of no more than 3,000 inhabitants in the interior of Argentina, Lopez took his first steps in football in the area’s amateur teams, such as El Progreso and Atletico Saladas, which Boca Juniors watched. At the age of nine, he started playing in Independiente’s basic categories.
Jose Manuel Lopez also received the title of “El Flaco” (Skinny) in the youth categories, due to his weight of 77 kilograms distributed at a height of 1.88 meters.
All categories of the Libertadores da America have had seven seasons. In 2016, he was promoted to the professional team for a probationary period under the eyes of Ariel Holan, the then Independiente coach who passed through Santos in 2021. The striker was not happy and was sent off.
Injury and near the end of the job
Before he was promoted to the professional team at Independiente, “El Flaco” almost gave up his career. At the age of 15, he sustained a thigh injury that left the striker practically unable to walk, as he revealed in an interview with La Nacion, a traditional Argentine newspaper.
I had a problem that I almost gave up football. I had an injury to my waist, to my bones, which barely allowed me to walk. I thought about leaving for a while, but the desire was stronger – said Flacco, in an interview with the newspaper La Nacion.
After he recovered, Lopez was released the following year by Independiente. From there, his story began to change in Argentine football.
Jose Manuel Lopez celebrates a goal by Argentina Lanus – Photo: Disclosure
After his release from Independiente, Lopez went through a period of tests and was signed by Lanus in 2017. As a central striker, second striker and even a midfielder, the player failed to prove himself the following season and ended up on loan at Atletico Collegiales, where He was a top scorer.. He helped the club reach the first division of the Argentine Regional League.
Returning to Lanús, it took just two games and six days to score the first goal in Argentina’s first division, in the victory over Rosário Central, in January 2021.
In all, he scored 13 goals in 25 matches, finished fifth as the tournament’s top scorer, and was known for being a great header.
– You have to train your coordination to jump, you have to catch the ball from the highest point. But that comes naturally to me. I have an instinct, the drive to reach – Lopez, in an interview with La Nacion, said about his ability to score goals with his head.
On the radar of the Argentine national team
Good performances throughout the 2021 season had Lopez watched by Lionel Scaloni, coach of the Argentina national team. There were 13 goals in 25 matches in the Argentina 2020/21 Championship, to serve as a reference. This season, there were seven goals in 19 matches.
Lionel Scaloni believes Lopez is an option for Argentina’s attack – Photo: Agustin Markarian/Reuters
The versatility of being able to play the role of central attacker and also as a second striker, in addition to being a youngster, sparked the interest of the Argentine coaching staff after the retirement of Sergio “Con” Aguero. The search for a name that can reshape the offensive sector after the World Cup.
Although the Argentine press has referred to “Flaco” as an option, Scaloni has yet to call it up.
The trend is for the striker to be monitored better after the Qatar World Cup. At the age of 21, Lopez could not defend Argentina in the 2024 Paris Olympics, as he would be above the minimum age (23 years), which increases his chances of being part of the main group.
A fan of Thierry Henry and Nacho Fernandez
Two players inspire the potential new boost to Palm trees It can give you a taste of what to expect from Argentine style of play.
In interviews with local publications, Lopez cites the former French striker as a great reference, largely due to his physical appearance and the characteristics of being a light and distinguished player.
Another reference cited by “El Flaco” is fellow Atlético-MG midfielder Nacho Fernandez, who could be a contender in the fight for several titles throughout the season. Nacho spent six seasons at River Plate, the team that was also interested in signing Lopez.
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