Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Manchester United Join The Race To Sign This Versatile Mexican Star: Clever Move By Jose?

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Subhayan Dutta
Subhayan used to be the Featured Columnist at The 4th Official. Completely immersed in football and almost all other sports on planet.

According to reports, Manchester United have now joined the race to sign Benfica forward Raul Jimenez. The Mexican international has been on the radar of West Ham United and Everton for quite some time now, and United joining the race could change the scenario now.

The Red Devils have already brought in Vincent Lindelof from the Portuguese outfit this summer apart from Romelu Lukaku and Nemanja Matic and if reports are to be believed Jose Mourinho has sanctioned their move for Jimenez for the much needed fourth signing. United lack depth in the number 10 position with Juan Mata as the only natural option for Mourinho in that position.

Chance creation and converting them were United’s biggest concerns last season and while the arrival of Lukaku has solved that, Jimenez could be the answer to their second problem. United had zero problems seeing off West Ham United last week as Mourinho’s men ran riot over the Hammers, but their next opponent could be a tough nut to crack.

Unlike West Ham, Paul Clement doesn’t have many attacking reinforcements at his disposal and would be comfortable to just sit deep and absorb attacks. A player like Jimenez could be vital in games like these in the future.

The Mexican saw a change in fortunes since moving from La Liga side Atletico Madrid to Liga NOS side Benfica in the winter of 2015. Since then, the player has scored 24 goals from 80 games for them playing a significant role in their title winning season last campaign.

One of the biggest strengths of the Mexican forward is his versatility. A centre-forward by nature, Jimenez has immensely comfortable from the flanks too and his 6-foot 3-inch frame suits the playing style of every league. Despite having a big figure, he is extremely fast in the attacking third, suiting Manchester United’s free flowing counter-attacking football well.

With quality delivery coming from the central midfield and from the wide areas, he could finish them with relative ease. More than anything, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s future at Old Trafford uncertain, Jimenez could be a good competition for Lukaku.

However, West Ham’s long-term interest in the player still keeps them in the driver’s seat and with Slaven Bilic able to promise the player more first team chances, the Irons just might have the edge. Moreover, West Ham’s new recruit Javier Hernandez could be big factor n Jimenez choosing them over Manchester United.

At 26, the forward has his peak years ahead of him and United could find a long-term solution in the player if they manage to topple the Hammers.

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