According to reports from Daily Express, West Ham United are mulling over making a move for SL Benfica striker Raul Jimenez. The East London club have been showing interest in the forward since last month and could possibly act on their interest before the deadline day.
The 26-year old has been a consistent source of goals for the Portuguese champions over the past two years and has attracted strong interest from several Premier League clubs with the Express claiming Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is also monitoring the striker.
West Ham boss Slaven Bilic has employed a more pragmatic approach in the transfer window this time around, after last season’s failed acquisitions. So far in the market, the Hammers have gone for players that have years of experience at the top level and have proven themselves at the level. Pablo Zabaleta, Joe Hart, Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez – all of the Londoners’ signings are established players in their own right.
And Jimenez too would represent a similar acquisition if signed. The 26-year old joined Benfica in 2015 from Atletico Madrid and has grown into a pivotal player for the Portuguese club. Till date, he has played 80 times for Benfica, scoring 24 goals in the process and registered 8 assists. Last season he found the back of the net on 11 occasions and created 3 more goals for his teammates, helping Benfica to the Portuguese league title and the Portuguese Cup. He has started the new season on a strong note as well, scoring in the Portuguese Super Cup triumph against Vitoria Guimaraes.
A target man in the box, Jimenez is someone who can be a handful for the defenders in the penalty box with his power and intelligence. Strong in the air, good finishing abilities along with the strong hold-up play in front of goal, Jimenez is very much an all-round forward. And with his pace, he can be a major threat on the counter-attacks as well. A tireless runner with good all-round abilities, make him an ideal fit for the Premier League without a doubt.
And add to that, pairing him up with Mexican international teammates Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez could work wonders for Bilic and West Ham. The two enjoyed a very fruitful partnership for El Tri in the recently concluded 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia, combining very well to lead the team to a fourth-place finish in the tournament.
West Ham looked quite toothless in their attacking play in the season opener against Manchester United, which they ended up losing 4-0. With Andy Carroll continuing to be blighted by injuries and Diafra Sakho returning after a long injury layoff, another striker is very much the need of the hour for the Hammers. And Jimenez could prove to be the ideal man, the missing piece, for West Ham to help them compete for a European spot in the new season and for years to come.