Raúl Jiménez has been nothing short of a revelation for Wolverhampton since signing on loan from Portuguese club Benfica.
Such form has seen him draw attention from fellow Premier League clubs including Manchester United, with big clubs set to circle for the Mexican number nine in the summer.
Jiménez forms a crucial part of Wolves’ iconic three at the back system, playing up front next to the likes of Adama Traoré and Diogo Jota. Wolves acknowledged this in the summer when they made Raúl’s deal permanent, breaking their club-record transfer fee in the process.
The £30m they paid for his services seems like a bargain, with many sources rating Jiménez upwards of £60m.
Since signing from Benfica at the start of the 2018/19 season, Jiménez has scored 26 goals and registered 14 assists drawing his tenure, brilliant figures for a number nine whose role isn’t entirely quantifiable by goals or assists.
Raúl Jiménez possesses all the traits you want in a modern-day striker.
He is brilliant on the ball and brings his teammates into the game whilst also putting his 6-foot 3-inch frame to great use in aerial duels. Jiménez is known to drop between the lines and support the likes of Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho in the build-up, such is his quality on the ball. It goes without saying that he is deadly in front of goal too!
Jiménez also excels in the big games, assisting Wolves in achieving Premier League success over the past two seasons.
Specifically, Jiménez scored in both legs of Wolves’ final Europa League qualifying tie against Torino, guaranteeing them entry into the competition proper.
Additionally, Raúl’s combination with Spaniard Adama Traoré came to the fore in Wolves’ unexpected 2-0 away victory against current Champions Manchester City. During this match, Raúl excelled, providing assists for both goals and leading his side to a historic victory.
Clearly enjoying his matches against the reigning champions, Jiménez scored and assisted in Wolves’ incredible 3-2 win at the Molineux, effectively putting an end to City’s title hopes in the process. Particularly memorable was his backheel assist to Matt Doherty for the game’s decisive goal.
It’s easy to see why Jiménez is drawing interest from the opposition after such great performances, but why is he still so underrated by the media and general football fans?
This question is probably more difficult to answer but may lie in the fact that he plays for Wolverhampton. Having only been promoted to the Premier League in 18/19, Wolves are a medium-sized club, meaning that many casual onlookers mightn’t realise Jiménez’s profound impact.
Additionally, the way he plays mightn’t seem too fashionable by fans who prefer to see the likes of Paul Pogba and Neymar show off their special skills. Jiménez tends to keep his game simple for the most part, but it is incredibly effective, to say the least.
During Sky Sports’ ‘Off-Script’ with Raúl’s captain Conor Coady, the Liverpool born centre half was very quick to praise Jiménez when pundit Jamie Carragher asked which Wolves players would feature in his ‘PFA Team of the Year’.
“I always think a couple of Wolves players could be in with a shout”, said Coady.
“I thought Raúl could have been in with a shout… I just think what Raúl brings to our club and the amount of goal involvements he’s in, he’s involved in so many goals for our club, in terms of what he does I think he’s been brilliant.”
Considering the level of fellow Premier League strikers Jamie Vardy, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Sergio Agüero, it is a massive statement to suggest that Jiménez is in with a shout at the Team of the Year. But I think this is an entirely valid argument to be made.
Certainly, Jiménez deserves further praise from the media and fans alike, but as long as Wolves remain happy with what he does, I don’t think they’ll mind!