Stu Hall gives his case for why Raúl Alonso Jiménez Rodríguez should be the Wolves Fancast player of the season.
Not for many a year has a signing grabbed the imagination of a group of supporters as much as that of our new number 9 hero.
For a club that managed to romp to the Championship title with 2 loan strikers scoring either side of the January window, we all knew that a hitman would be of top priority coming into the Premier League.
With the link to Jorge Mendes, numerous clients of his were linked with a move to the midlands.
Andre Silva was one that was heavily linked but would have been a massive coup for a newly promoted side and the deal never happened.
So talk moved on and the name that emerged was that of Raul Jimenez.
On 10th June, Tim Spiers broke the news that he was in talks to sign for Wolves for the season.
A forward from Benfica with a record of 1 in 4 and at the age of 26, seemed a bit of a cheap option considering the names that had been mentioned at the time.
But then this is Wolves under Fosun, and the loan with an option to buy market had been used brilliantly in landing Costa, Boly and Jota so there was cause for excitement.
Eyes quickly turned to youtube highlights clips as is the custom in 2018 and a stunning bicycle kick performed against Panama got the excitement factor building and as a result, Mexico’s World Cup games were all of a sudden essential viewing.
In the first game Raul played more wide than usual and things did not look good from that first instance.
During Pre Season too, things were cool as the World Cup players had extra time to recover so it wasn’t until the final game against Villareal that we got to see what was to follow.
A headed goal on the opening day of the season from a brilliant Neves cross was the perfect answer to any lingering doubts anyone had about his signing at all.
It wasn’t just goals though, it was the all round play that made him stand out so much.
Here we have a striker who is as much a forward and team player as Kevin Doyle was, has the skill and tenacity of Steven Fletcher and the likability of Matt Jarvis.
Of all the Premier League seasons Wolves have participated in beforehand, this guy is the best parts of some of the best players.
The goals themselves though, have been of all kinds.
As mentioned earlier, the Youtube compilations are a job to beyhold and he could easily have one of just this season alone.
From headers, tap ins, volleys, instinctive drives to acrobatic swivels like in the cup semi final; there is nothing that he can’t do.
When Wolves were starting to get overrun in midfield and the formation changed, I personally wondered how this would affect the forward players as they had been drilled from day 1 into playing in the 3-4-3 system.
There was no need to worry, for because of the change, the link up with Diogo Jota ramped up to almost telepathic levels at times with them both knowing where the other either is or was going to be.
When the permanent asking price was set at around £30m before the World Cup i don’t think there was a single person who would have paid that fee.
Fast forward 8 months and it is viewed at a snip.
And not just from footballing terms either, from a commercial point of view, Jimenez has been an incredible success.
From the fact that individually he had 6 times as many twitter followers on his own than the Official Wolves site itself shows his popularity in the latin world, and his friendship with WWE star Sin Cara has exported the Wolves brand into the reaches of professional wrestling.
Without Raul Jimenez, this Wolves side does not work.He is the lynchpin, the vital cog that holds the side together.
Without his teamwork alone, let alone goals, the house of cards comes crashing down.
He is unquestionably the player of the season, and arguably one of the best signings of any club full stop in 2018/19.
Does Jiménez get your vote?