According to reports, newly promoted Premier League outfit Wolverhampton Wanderers have signed Raul Jimenez on a season-long loan.
Wolves have made loan moves permanent for Willy Boly and Diogo Jota while Benik Afobe left for Gary Rowett’s Stoke City side after making his move to Molineux permanent earlier in the month.
As Afobe departed Wolves in one of the most bizarre transfers ever, the arrival of Jimenez from Benfica could be massive for the club. Although the Mexican struggled for form last season as he started just six games for Benfica and scored eight goals in all competitions, he is a player Wolves could take a gamble on.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side would need experience and much more firepower in attack to sustain in the Premier League and Jimenez could be the man to bolster their attacking options. He would be a more experienced forward for Wolves having played in the Champions League during his time at Benfica and Atletico Madrid.
Jimenez, 27, joined Benfica in 2015 from Atletico Madrid and has grown into a pivotal player for the Portuguese club. Speedy, instinctive and good with the ball at his feet, the Mexican is a target-man in the box and is someone who can be a handful for the defenders.
He possesses good ball control and technique and can be deployed as a secondary striker. But Jimenez bursts into life when used as a sole centre-forward as he is a natural and intelligent finisher. Strong in the air, he is a player who knows how to hold-up play and release his teammates with one slick pass. And with his pace and dribbling skills, the Mexican can be a major threat during counter-attacks.
At the international level, Jimenez has netted 13 goals in 63 appearances for Mexico. He is on his way on Russia for the World Cup, joining the likes of Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez, Hirving Lozano and Carlos Vela in Mexico’s attacking ranks.
Given his quality with the ball and natural finishing abilities, Jimenez seems to be the perfect forward to suit Nuno’s attacking style of play at Molineux. The 27-year-old’s physical qualities, work ethic and desire to chase for lost causes make him a perfect fit for the Premier League.
Wolves striker Leo Bonatini’s form faded away last season after a bright start to the campaign. He arrived on loan from Al-Hilal last summer but after scoring 12 goals till December, the striker went 26 games without scoring in the final six months of the season.
Considering Bonatini’s massive dip in form, Wolves should not consider turning his loan deal into a permanent one this summer. Jimenez is undoubtedly an upgrade over Bonatini.