When the name Raul Gonzalez is mentioned, there are few words other than legend and footballing icon to conjure with. Having recently left Real Madrid on a free transfer after an illustrious career at the Santiago Bernabeu, the striker looked all set to sign for German side Schalke 04 but has now claimed he is not adverse to a move to the Premier League. The question being: Would the hustle and bustle of the Premier League represent the best move for him?
Tottenham and Newcastle have been credited with interest in the 33 year old whilst Manchester United have also been mooted as potential destinations should he choose England over Germany and the man described by Florentino Pérez as being chosen to “embody the club” says he felt the time was right for a new challenge.
Raúl scored 323 goals in 741 games for Real Madrid, as well as 44 in 102 appearances for Spain speaks for itself and his work ethic and positional play may make him the ideal forward for a Premier League side.
Harry Redknapp and Chris Hughton however have distanced themselves from any deal and there may be a few bones of contention for other managers who are considering a swoop. One of those is perhaps whether he would be able to adapt to the Premier League pace quickly enough for him to be cost-effective in terms of wages having only netted five goals in La Liga last season and been a bit-part player throughout.
Furthermore, Raúl himself may also have reservations over a move where he would no doubt be scrutinised week in week out as to whether he can hack it in what is regarded by many as the best league in the world for the tempo and sheer intensity at which it is played.
Spanish compatriot Fernando Morientes came to the Premier League side Liverpool in 2005 with a big reputation and an impressive 72 goals in 182 games for Madrid but struggled to make an impact on Merseyside. He is often regarded in various lists of the worst transfers in the history of the Premier League and Raúl may prefer to preserve his previously untarnished reputation by seeing out his days in the Bundesliga.
Although many supporters would love somebody of Raúl calibre at their club, I believe that at this stage of such a well-regarded career, both on and off the pitch, it would not be the time for Raúl to move to the Premier League as his career is already extraordinary in its successes.