Raul Jimenez has enjoyed two impressive seasons at Wolverhampton Wanderers since signing from Benfica. Jimenez initially joined the English outfit on a season-long loan in 2018 before making his deal permanent in 2019. Jimenez joined the club for a reported club-record fee of 32 million pounds, surpassing Adama Traore’s 18 million pounds transfer fee, which was previously Wolves record signing. Jimenez has been very instrumental and an essential figure for Nuno Espirito’s side, having forged a prolific partnership with Diogo Jota. Last season, Jimenez scored in memorable Premier League victories over Chelsea and Tottenham in what was an impressive maiden season in English football. He also helped Wolves reach the FA cup semi-final. Jimenez has become one of the most lethal finishers in the Premier League.
He continues to be a standout player as has made himself a significant player with the club, having scored 39 goals in 86 games since joining the club. As such, he deserves high praise for his performances for his side over the past two seasons.
How unique is Jimenez?
Jimenez was one of the best stars of the season in the Premier League before the Covid-19 pandemic led to the temporary suspension of the remainder of the season. Before the suspension of the Premier League, Jimenez had scored 22 goals in all competitions. Jimenez has underscored the reputation he developed for himself during his debut season with Wolves.
Jimenez is a complete striker who has maintained consistency throughout the season. However, he is more than just a finisher for his side. The six assists he has recorded so far season proves his influence in the Wolves attack when he is not scoring. Jimenez embodies the make-up of a complete modern-day striker. He can create chances for his teammates on any occasion. Raul Jimenez also possesses the ability to hold the ball up well with his back to goal dribble past his opponents with ease. He also has a lot of pace combined with the versatility to play on the wings. His height, strength combined with the ability to shoot with both feet, also gives him a significant advantage over his opponents on any given day in the middle of the pitch when he drops deeper.
In Jimenez, Wolves have found themselves a reliable finisher who can make a difference for the team. The curious thing about Jimenez’s career is that he has become the focal point of the team even though he joined the club as a low-key loan signing in comparison to the likes of Joao Moutinho and Rui Patricio.
Jimenez also wrote his name in the Wolves history books in their win over Southampton this season. In that game, He became Wolves’ Premier League all-time top scorer overtaking Steven Fletcher’s record, which stood since 2012. Jimenez’s performances have not gone unnoticed as he has attracted a lot of attention from some of the big clubs in the world ahead of the summer transfer window.
Can Wolves keep Jimenez beyond this season?
Jimenez is in excellent form, contributing directly to 29 of Wolves’ 57 goals in all competitions this season. With these numbers, it comes as no wonder that top clubs continue to circle him. The likes of Man United, Arsenal, Real Madrid and Barcelona are all scouting him. As a result, this summer may present the perfect opportunity for Wolves to command an astonishing transfer fee for Jimenez from potential suitors.
Clubs like Real Madrid, Man United, and Barcelona will be interested in paying a huge transfer fee to secure the signing of a top striker like Jimenez. A potential move to some of these top clubs will also represent a massive step in his football career.
Losing Jimenez will be a bitter blow for coach Nuno Espirito Santo and his Wolves side in the quest to become regulars in the UEFA Champions League in the short term. He has also been crucial to the success of his team in the UEFA Europa League this season. He could secure Champions League football for Wolves if he helps them win the Europa League at the end of the season. However, a move for Jimenez would also represent good business for Wolves in terms of their finances. A potential sale of Jimenez could fetch the club a lot of money to reinvest in the squad.
It would be a gut-wrenching decision but one that Wolves should perhaps consider sooner rather than later.