Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Raul Jimenez is said to be ‘on his way’ to Manchester United according to reports from Portuguese media outlets A Bola and RTP. It is stated in Portugal and Wolves are signing Paulinho from Sporting Braga in a deal worth £27 million, as reported by The Sun. It was earlier reported in Portugal, according to SportWitness that Braga has seen interest from England for the striker although the club was not named at the time, This has caused rumours suggesting that United were now signing Jimenez, 29.
This season, in 53 appearances for Wolves, with more matches left due to their participation in the UEFA Europa League. The Mexican striker has scored 26 goals and 10 assists, making a goal contribution every 0.68 matches, which is a good ratio for a striker. At 29, he might not fit what Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking for in terms of youth, however, with Anthony Martial, 24, Marcus Rashford, 22, and Mason Greenwood, 18, there is enough youth in the squad with a space for a more experienced striker in the team, which could help the trio, especially Greenwood.
Mexico coach Gerard Martino has advised United to go all out to sign grr striker, who would fill the void left by Romelu Lukaku last summer with Solskjaer not replacing the Belgian after he left for Inter Milan. The player has been linked to United a few times already this year and these reports, based on the fact that RTP, as stated by SportWitness, who said the news source ‘aren’t usually prone to gossip,’ which makes it sound so much more interesting. Martino, speaking to ESPN and reported by The Sun, said:
“Looking at it from the outside today I cannot see a specialist number nine like Raul at United.
“There are many forward like [Marcus] Rashford, [Anthony] Martial and the boy who now plays as a right-winger, [Mason] Greenwood, but since Romelu Lukaku left I can’t see a pure number nine like Raul.”
The Mexican striker was loaned to Wolves during the 2018/19 season from Benfica. During his debut season at the club, he made a total of 44 appearances, scoring 17 goals and eight assists – a goal contribution of 0.57 goals per match, something which he improved on during his second season at the club. United would do well with a player of Jimenez’s experience, especially after banging in 26 goals this season, 17 of which were in the Premier League aloe. With United returning to the UEFA Champions League, having a striker with experience will be required.
Jimenez started he career at Club America where he made 102 appearances, scoring 38 goals and 16 assists in three years at the club. From there, the Mexican signed for Atletico Madrid, staying at the Spanish club for one season, making 28 appearances, scoring one goal and two assists. He was then sold to Benfica, staying for three seasons, making 120 appearances, scoring 31 goals and 15 assists at the club. Now at Wolves, just finishing his second domestic season, Jimenez has made a total of 97 appearances so far, scoring 43 goals and 18 assists.
This will be an interesting rumour to keep up to date with. Last summer, the Portuguese media were all over United signing Bruno Fernandes but that move did not happen despite the high amount of interest in the prospective deal, which eventually happened six month later with United signing the Portuguese midfielder during the January transfer window. As many will suggest there player is too old for Solskjaer’s side, the reality is that with a young attacking squad, the player would be seen as experienced, which is an aspect you need in every team.
Written by John Walker