Nuno’s thanks for Wolves' tireless goal king Raul Jimenez

Nuno Espirito Santo has hailed star striker Raul Jimenez’s staying power and thanked him for helping Wolves ‘so much’.

Raul Jimenez of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates (AMA)
Raul Jimenez of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates (AMA)

After topping the scoring charts in both of the previous two seasons, Jimenez again leads the way early into 2020/21 with three goals from five games.

The 29-year-old has played every minute of those five matches – after featuring in all 38 matches in both 2018/19 and 2019/20 while also travelling across the world to represent Mexico.

And delighted boss Nuno, whose side host Newcastle on Sunday, said: “With Raul, it’s been a challenge for him and for us to manage his minutes, how much he is involved.

“Since he played in the Gold Cup with Mexico at the beginning of last season, everything has gone from there.

“But he has been able to perform very well and sustain his levels of fitness.

“Again, this season, it’s always a challenge for him and for us, to manage and deal with the situation.

“But Raul is doing very, very well. I see him fresh, available, and when he’s like that, all the talent he has emerges.

“He’s been able to help the team so much.”

Jimenez has netted a total of 33 Premier League goals in his time with Wolves so far.

He has also chipped in with 13 assists – only bettered by Joao Moutinho (14) – while avoiding any significant injuries.

When asked how Jimenez has managed to stay injury-free, Nuno said: “Because he treats himself very well and respects himself, the days he needs to recover.

“He’s really committed to it and he always competes at the highest level that he can.

“The best way to keep your fitness is to give everything you have in the matches.

“He’s always been able to pass that barrier of eventual fatigue, to delay when the tiredness comes.

“Raul has always been involved with the national team but we’ve always exchanged information with their staff, as we do with all our international players.

“He has so much talent, commitment, ambition, we are very pleased.

“He has to keep going, there is no stopping. He knows that. Now is the time to improve.”

Asked if Wolves are lucky to have him, Nuno added: “Of course, but he is lucky to be at Wolves also because the team help him so much. It’s a two-way situation.”

Jimenez recently signed a new contract with Wolves until 2024 while Max Kilman became the latest in a growing line to commit by signing a fresh five-year deal on Wednesday.

Winger Adama Traore is expected to follow suit soon as he is currently in talks over a longer contract – thought to be on improved terms – to replace the one he currently has, running until 2023.

Nuno said on the situation: “I think it’s the same, Adama worked very well today, fantastic, he is going to work better tomorrow and things will happen naturally.

“When the time comes, it’s always a dialogue situation between the club, player and trying to come to a good, shared decision.”

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