Wolves’ new recruit Raul Jimenez may have won European titles and played in the Champions League, but wolves.co.uk today spoke to Mexican football expert Martín del Palacio to shed more light on the club’s new striker.
Del Palacio will be covering the Mexican team out in Russia and is well placed to discuss Jimenez, who he has watched for many years and rates highly.
Martin, what type of player can Wolves supporters expect from Jimenez next season?
He looks like a traditional number nine because he’s big and tall, but he’s a more well-rounded player.
When he first moved to Europe we described him as a Mexican Zlatan because he’s that sort of player. He’s a very good striker who is good with the ball at his feet, he has flair and can produce the unexpected.
What would you describe are Jimenez’s main attributes he’ll hope to bring to Wolves?
He’s very good in the air, he’s tall and strong. He can make things happen, he doesn’t just score but also assists. He even assisted with a rabona for Benfica, he’s that kind of player.
He’s good in the air, unpredictable, and is a natural goal scorer, he’s a good player. He scored a fantastic bicycle kick for Mexico four years ago to qualify the team for the World Cup.
How well do you think Jimenez will fit into the English Premier League?
I think he’s more suited to the Premier League than the Portuguese and Spanish leagues. The Premier League is a fast league where physical attributes count, and he’s very strong so I think is well suited. If used correctly he can thrive there I think.
He probably feels he has something to prove. Despite being a key man for Benfica, he’s the one who scored most of the important goals in recent years, he never managed to establish himself as a regular.
What sort of character is Jimenez and how do you think he’ll fit in inside the Molineux dressing room?
He’s pretty easy going and laid back. He’s even a bit shy but there’s no issues. I don’t know the squad at Wolves, but the manager and lots of players are Portuguese which will help him adapt. He seems to be landing in a good spot.
Finally, what are the expectations on Jimenez and Mexico at this summer’s World Cup in Russia?
Mexico have landed in a tough spot because the draw is not easy with Germany, South Korea and Sweden. If they finish second they are likely to play Brazil, so it’s tough. There’s quality in the team so I think they are good enough to make the last 16 and the best performance of their life is needed to beat Brazil.
It’s difficult to know who will be first choice up front. He’s been playing in the warm-up games so will play a part for sure. I don’t know if he’ll start the first game but nobody else in the team has his style and physique.
Martín del Palacio will be providing coverage on the Mexican team out in Russia and can be followed on Twitter @martindelp.