This article is part of Football FanCast’s The Chalkboard series, which provides a tactical insight into teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Over 50 games later and Raul Jimemez’s season is finally done.
The Mexican, who was a sensation in his first term at Wolves, netting 17 times, enjoyed the perfect end to a glistening campaign.
It was a tournament that typified the striker who will head into his first full campaign as a permanent Wolves player as their most expensive signing.
Yet, could there now be a chance for one of the club’s academy players to stake a claim?
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Jimenez had an arduous season and after the Gold Cup finally finished on Monday morning, it’s highly likely that he’ll now require an extended break.
The 28-year-old has barely stopped and with Wolves’ Europa League qualifying beginning at the end of the month, a chance could arise for someone else to lead the line.
We’ve already detailed how Ivan Cavaleiro could still help amid interest from Derby, but in terms of the central striker role, they should look to put their trust in Niall Ennis.
The 20-year-old enjoyed a brilliant campaign at U23 level last season, scoring 12 times in Premier League 2 Division 2 as Rob Edwards’ side won promotion.
After making a comeback from injury it was quite the return for the youngster who during pre-season has been training with the first team.
Recent words from Scott Sellars should also fill a player with Ennis like confidence.
Speaking to Express & Star, he admitted: “If I was a player now, I’d be looking at Wolves with 18 first-team outfield players – if there’s an injury, or they can impress in the under-23s or in the hundreds of training sessions they could have with the first-team. It’s an open route.”
And with that in mind, it would seem rather foolish if Nuno decided to ignore Ennis.
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He is the perfect example of the type of player they need to give an opportunity to in the Europa League this term and he could benefit massively from a run out in European competition, especially after finding himself regularly in the goals at youth level.
Wolves have already sent players like Benny Ashley-Seal and Connor Ronan on loan to clubs around the continent so this will present the Midlands side with an alternative way of testing young individuals such as Ennis.
Considering Jimenez is unlikely to be fit, he should be afforded a chance.