This has been a torrid season for Wolves but, with Raul Jimenez set to return during pre-season, the Old Gold can be positive about their prospects in 2021/22.
It was wonderful news to hear the Mexican had now made a full recovery from the horrendous fractured skull he sustained back in November.
He has been a monumental loss to departing manager Nuno Espirito Santo this term, with the Molineux outfit struggling for goals. That’s hardly a surprise, though, especially when you consider that Jimenez returned 27 strikes in 2019/20.
Since his time on the sidelines, Fabio Silva has only found the net four times and Willian Jose has scored once. Therefore, to have their main man back will come as music to the ears of Wolves supporters.
It will also be welcomed by Pedro Neto, a player suffering from his own lengthy injury.
He was named the club’s Player of the Season this week and it was easy to see why. He is their joint-top scorer and has more assists than any other player in the squad. However, those numbers would be far better if their Mexican number nine was available throughout the campaign.
Providing Wolves can get him and Jimenez back fit, they could have a brilliant chance of breaking into the European places next season. Add Xherdan Shaqiri into the mix and their hopes become even brighter.
The Liverpool forward was tipped to be a good addition for Wolves by Football Insider pundit Noel Whelan earlier this year.
He commented: “Where would he end up going [from Liverpool]? You’re probably talking middle of the table. Maybe Wolves, that might suit a player like him. But I doubt the top six would take a chance on him. He’s got a great left foot but he hasn’t been playing regularly. He’s been a bit-part player.”
As a player blessed with plenty of creativity, a front three of him, Neto and Jimenez is a mouth-watering one. Shaqiri possesses what has been described as “breathtaking technique” and you can see that in the way he carves out chances for others.
The comparisons with Nuno’s front three are rife, possessing flair and trickery to beat defenders on a regular basis.
During an interview with Football FanCast’s sister site This is Futbol, Old Gold legend Steve Bull said: “Shaqiri is similar to Neto, Podence and Traore so he could actually fit in and I wouldn’t rule that out at all. He’s that type of player who is busy, small, light on his feet and a dead ball specialist.”
If a player is good enough for Bull, he should be good enough for Wolves’ new manager next term, and indeed Fosun.
Shaqiri’s salary of £80,000 per week is steep but he would add plenty to a Wolves squad who are in desperate need of more quality and options in the final third.