Why Manchester United must act quickly to secure Raul Jimenez’s signing
Jimenez came through the youth ranks at Mexican club CF America. He made 101 appearances for his boyhood club, scoring 38 goals, before signing for Atletico Madrid in 2014. He failed to make the desired impact in Spain, bagging just one goal in 28 matches and hence, was sold to Benfica in 2015.
In three years at the Portuguese outfit, Jimenez made 120 appearances, but managed just 31 goals in the process. Wolves signed him on loan in 2018. And after having been impressed by his performances in England, made his transfer permanent last summer. Till date, the 29-year-old has scored 39 goals and assisted 19 more in 88 appearances for the Premier League side.
Manchester United’s season was on an upward curve when the season was suspended due to the coronavirus. The Red Devils were unbeaten in eleven consecutive matches in all competitions. This had propelled them to 5th place in the Premier League table – three points below 4th-placed Chelsea.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were also on the cusp of qualifying for the Europa League quarter-finals and have made it to the sixth round of the FA Cup as well.
Do Manchester United need a new centre-forward?
Goals had been a problem for Manchester United early in the season. Especially when Anthony Martial and Marcus Rashford were sidelined with injuries. The club allowed Romelu Lukaku and Alexis Sanchez to leave last summer without bringing in an adequate replacement. This came back to bite Solskjaer & co.
When fit, both Rashford and Martial have performed brilliantly. The former has notched up 19 goals and 5 assists in 31 matches in all competitions. Whereas, the latter has bagged 16 goals and 5 assists in 34 matches. In addition, Mason Greenwood has impressed as well.
However, Rashford’s injury in January left them thread-bare in the centre-forward department. Hence, United signed Odion Ighalo on loan on the January transfer deadline day. The Nigerian has impressed in his short time at the club, netting four goals in eight matches. However, he is set to be recalled by parent club Shanghai Shenhua soon.
Rashford’s best performances this season have come from the left flank. Indeed, 15 of his 19 goals have come from the wings, where he seems best-suited. And with Ighalo also set to return to China once his loan deal expires, Manchester United should look to bring in a new striker.
Jimenez, to that end, would be a fine addition for the club. The 29-year-old has proven himself in the Premier League over the past two years. Having scored 17 goals in all competitions last term, he has found the net 22 times in 2019/20.
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The Mexican international would not only add depth and quality to the side but would also bring his experience to a relatively young Manchester United attacking contingent.
With Ighalo’s future at the club uncertain, Manchester United should look to add more firepower to their attack. In that regard, Wolves star Jimenez would be a viable option for the club. The 29-year-old has proven his worth in the past couple of seasons and would add more depth and experience to this Manchester United side.