Raul Jimenez’s debut season in England has attracted a lot of attention after a number of excellent performances from the Mexican international.
The centre-forward arrived on a loan deal from Portuguese side Benfica back in the summer, and has since gone on to notch nine goals and record five assists in his 26 Premier League appearances. Whilst those numbers are decent, they aren’t up there with the league’s best, although the 27-year-old offers so much more than just finding the back of the net.
Wolves’ number nine uses his 6′ 2″ frame to great effect, winning the majority of his aerial duels and making clever, consistent runs into the channels to open up room for Diogo Jota to have a shot on goal.
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His first touch is also exemplary, and he is proving to have all the attributes to shine as a lone striker in this division.
Against Newcastle on Monday night, last season’s Championship winners looked fairly lost and struggled to play their usually effective game against the Magpies, with Jimenez also finding it difficult against Rafa Benitez’s defensively rigid side.
On a night where only a very late Martin Dubravka error helped Wolves get a point, the 27-year-old appeared to be the only man trying to make something happen in front of goal for Nuno Espirito Santo’s men.
He had six shots, more than any of his teammates, but unfortunately for him and Wolves, only one of those was on target as he appeared to leave his shooting boots at home.
Whilst it wasn’t working for the Mexican up top, he showcased the many sides to his game with a number of attacking involvements that prove he is the focal point for Nuno. Jimenez embarked on five successful dribbles, and made an impressive three key passes – he was also fouled twice as Newcastle worked hard to nullify his impact going forward.
It was just one of those days for the newly-promoted side, and even then, they still managed to record a point which proves just how well they are doing at the moment; a lot of their good work can be put down to Jimenez and his relentless attacking play.