Following his permanent transfer from Benfica to Wolverhampton Wanderers in the summer of 2019, Raul Jimenez has undoubtedly caught the public eye.
After an encouraging debut season in England, the Mexican has since taken his game to new levels throughout the 2019-20 campaign. So, let’s take a look at how the 29-year-old has been able to adapt to English football so seamlessly.
Establishing Himself as a Consistent Goalscorer
In 2014, the six-foot-three striker left his native Mexico to join Diego Simeone’s Atletico Madrid in what promised to be his breakthrough move to Europe. However, things didn’t’ work out for Jimenez, who scored just three goals in 28 appearances for El Atleti. As a result, he then joined Benfica for approximately £19.8 million, according to Transfermarkt. While the Tepeji-born striker’s performances would improve, his best goalscoring season in Portugal came in the 2015-16 campaign, where he found the net on 12 occasions in all competitions.
On paper, and based on his time at both Atletico and Benfica, Jimenez didn’t look like he would become a consistent goalscorer, particularly in the ever-competitive Premier League. However, at Molineux, the Mexican has an impressive record in front of goal. At the time of writing, Jimenez has made 92 appearances for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side in all competitions. During which time, Alonso, as he is nicknamed, has scored 41 goals and assisted a further 18.
Moreover, the 29-year-old’s prolific form in front of goal has seen him surpass Steven Fletcher’s record of 22 goals in becoming Wolves’ top scorer in the Premier League. Despite this, his goalscoring prowess may not be enough because, as of July 9th, Wolves are 50/1 with football betting from bet365 to finish in a Champions League spot at the end of the existing campaign.
Becoming Nuno Espirito Santo’s Pivotal Player
Under the ownership of Fosun International, Espirito Santo has created a talented squad capable of competing with the Premier League’s traditional top six. While, in their own right, the likes of Willy Boly, Ruben Neves and Diogo Jota, to name just a few, are central to Wolves’ recent domestic success, few are capable of having the same match-winning impact as Jimenez.
Along with the team’s tactical system, the Mexican’s new-found form can be attributed to his growing relationship with Adama Traore. In a report from June 2020 by the Daily Mail, the pair were the highest assist-to-goalscorer combination in the entire top flight.
Furthermore, aside from the former Atletico forward’s ability to effortlessly link-up with his teammates, his fitness record is another factor behind his consistency in the West Midlands. As per his injury history at Transfermarkt, Jimenez is yet to miss a single game for Wolves through injury. Importantly, his reliability is another why he’s become central to Espirito Santo’s side.
The Potential for Further Development
Ultimately, the 29-year-old only appears to be getting better with age. With each passing season, Jimenez continues to surpass his personal goalscoring record. Crucially, if the Mexican can continue his progression, even at the latter stages of his career, then he could enjoy several more fruitful seasons in the Premier League.