Wednesday, December 7, 2022

Wolves Talisman Opens Door To A Potential Barcelona Move In The Future: Will He Fit In At Nou Camp?

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Nikhil Vinodh
Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.

According to a recent report by ESPN, Wolverhampton Wanderers striker Raul Jimenez has opened up the possibility of a switch to La Liga in the future, by saying that an opportunity to move to Barcelona or Real Madrid could be too good to pass up on. The prolific striker clarified that he could leave Wolves in the future if there are offers from the Spanish giants, but insisted that he is currently happy with life at Wolves. The striker also spoke about how he was continually being linked with moves to various clubs, with Jimenez even going on to take the names of Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal.

Speaking to ESPN Deportes, the Wolves man said, “They have already put me at Real Madrid, Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal, and every day comes out a new team that want me. I have to be calm. If they are talking about me it is because I am doing things well; I would like to continue in England.

“If you tell me that tomorrow an offer from Real Madrid or Barcelona comes, it is obvious that you do not let such an opportunity go. But if I stay here I am fighting to qualify for the Champions League, for important things. Fighting for the title still seems difficult but we are in the Europe League round-of-16. I think that I made the right decision to come here [to Wolves] and I do not regret it.”

What Is Barcelona’s Current Strike Situation?

The Catalan giants’ most significant position of concern going into the summer transfer window is undoubtedly that of the central striker. The winter acquisition of Martin Braithwaite has done next to nothing to help Quique Setien, while Luis Suarez’s injury came as a gutting blow to their ambitions for the season. The Catalan side have since had to try playing a false nine with Arturo Vidal leading the line, while they even attempted putting Antoine Griezmann in the central role for a little while.

Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Mexican striker Raul Jimenez (L) celebrates after scoring their third goal during the English Premier League football match between Tottenham Hotspur and Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, on March 1, 2020. (Photo by DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS / AFP/ GETTY Images)

Vidal playing as a false nine was never a realistic long-term option. At the same time, Braithwaite’s inconsistency and general lack of quality would surely be a problem in the bigger games of the season. Antoine Griezmann has been extremely disappointing since joining from Atletico Madrid, and his displays as the main striker didn’t get any better over time. Luis Suarez, now 33, is still the best option that Barca have at their disposal, meaning that finding an eventual replacement should soon become a priority.

How Would Raul Jimenez Fit In At Barcelona?

The Mexican international striker has been one of the deadliest finishers in all the major European leagues over the last two seasons, while his exploits leading the Wolves line in Europe have been quite impressive too. Adept at timing his runs into space and thereby leaving defenders for dead, Jimenez could be well-suited to the Catalan side’s fast-paced build-up play. The way the Wolves midfield is setup is actually quite similar to Barcelona tactically, meaning that he would get the same kind of service from the middle of the park upon making the switch to Catalonia.

Moreover, finding a replacement for Luis Suarez was never going to be an easy task. Still, considering Jimenez’s exploits in the league this season, it all begins to fall into place. While the Uruguayan is a lot more dynamic that Jimenez on the ball, the Mexican’s off-the-ball movement is second to none. The forward likes to make sudden movements inside the box, and by getting into the right kind of position is how the striker has scored so many goals these last couple of seasons. Suarez was an absolute hero in the Premier League before he made the switch to La Liga, and Jimenez has now reached almost a similar level in England. This transfer could just be a matter of time, but it’s one that Barcelona will do well to get done at the earliest.

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