Why Raul Jimenez could be the missing link at Man United
The 28-year-old Mexican international initially joined Wolves on loan from Atletico Madrid in the summer of 2018 before his prolific form prompted the Black Country outfit to fork out a club-record fee of £30million to make his stay permanent back in April 2019.
Jimenez, who scored 17 goals in all competitions for Wolves the last term, has already equalled his tally from the previous campaign, while also registering 9 assists to add a bit more gloss to his exploits.
The Mexican has plundered 8 goals and 6 assists in 21 Premier League appearances so far this term. His red-hot form has been enough to catapult him on to the radar of Man United, who have also identified RB Leipzig star Timo Werner as a potential target during the January transfer window (h/t The Sun).
As per the report, Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo recently commented that he hadn’t heard about Jimenez’s links to Old Trafford, although the Portuguese tactician did admit that he is unsure whether the Mexican would stay put at Molineux beyond January.
The Red Devils have Premier League fixtures coming up against Norwich City, Liverpool and Burnley before the return leg of the EFL Cup semi-final against City on January 29 and a home fixture against Wolves at the beginning of February.
To that end, Ole Gunnar Solskajer has plenty of food for thought, with United certainly having a lot to play for on all fronts in the coming weeks before the transfer deadline.
Despite showing obvious signs of promise in the ongoing campaign, United have blown hot and cold far too often for anybody’s liking and Solskjaer clearly has a lot of work to do in that regard.
Currently placed 5th in the Premier League standings, five points adrift of Chelsea in the top-four race, the Red Devils need to sort out their inconsistencies quickly enough to stay relevant in the quest for Champions League football next season.
While a significant outlay to shore up the backline with Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka this past summer has paid rich dividends, United have often lacked the creative influence in the final third and the attacking firepower to break the opposition down.
Marcus Rashford (12 goals, 4 assists), Anthony Martial (7 goals, 3 assists) and Daniel James (3 goals, 6 assists) have all chipped in with significant goal contributions while teenage prospect Mason Greenwood has also impressed with a level of maturity that belies his tender years.
However, United have lacked a genuine focal point in their attack, with much of their attacking play and goalscoring threat centred around pace.
While likes of Rashford, Martial and James have all excelled in Solskjaer’s direct brand of quick counter-attacking football, United are in dire need of an instinctive goal poacher with good ball-holding qualities to add another dimension to their attack.
Indeed, Man United’s brand of football have often been too predictable and far too reliant on pace, meaning that a goalscoring target-man could possibly improve the current attacking cavalry.
To put things into perspective, Raul Jimenez perfectly fits the description and his proven track record in the Premier League means that the Mexican could well come through the door at Old Trafford as a risk-free signing.season.
As per whoscored, Jimenez has averaged 2.2 aerial duels, 3.2 shots, 1.7 key passes, 1.8 dribbles and 1.2 long balls per game in the Premier League this term, figures which clearly lie testament to his well-rounded attributes as a target man up top.
The Mexican has formed a formidable strike pairing with Diogo Jota at Molineux and his arrival at Old Trafford could go a long way towards bringing the best out of pacey attackers like Rashford and Martial.
Besides proving himself to be a complete nuisance to defences in the Premier League with his strength and aerial ability, the 28-year-old has also illustrated his proficiency in creating goals for his teammates.
Plus, of course, he has established himself as one of the best penalty-box strikers in the Premier League, with each of his 21 goals in the Premier League coming from inside the penalty area.
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Having said that, Man United completing a deal for Raul Jimenez would improve their attack massively as the Red Devils look to push on for top-four glory in the Premier League.