It is wonderful to see Raul Jimenez back in a Wolverhampton Wanderers shirt.
Wolves’ number nine has looked right at home in head coach Bruno Lage’s new-look side.
However, he is yet to get on the scoresheet this season, and like any old-fashioned striker he will be itching to get back amongst the goals.
Lage has called for calm amid fans’ impatience though, saying that he is “happy with his work” even without his goals.
Nevertheless, with Wolves only having one goalscorer in the league this season, just how do they help Jimenez rediscover his scoring touch?
Below are three things Wolves could do to achieve this.
Play him on the last defender
Unlike Adama Traore, who is getting into the right positions without converting his chances, Jimenez is struggling to find the right spaces to put the ball into the net.
In Wolves’ last game against Watford, out of Jimenez’s 45 touches – as the following diagram courtesy of WhoScored shows – only four of them were inside the opposition area.
Jimenez’s expected goal (XG) per 90 minutes is also considerably lower than it was during his last full season at Wolves.
According to FBRef, during the 2019/20 campaign for Wolves, Jimenez had an XG of 0.41 per game. He scored 17 goals that time around, this season, his XG is only 0.21 per ninety minutes.
It is not solely Jimenez’s responsibility to get into goalscoring positions, but for other players to find him. That being said, if he plays closer to the last defender he might create his own chances.
Partner him with Hwang
Following his debut goal, some Wolves fans have been calling for Hwang Hee-chan to start tomorrow’s game against Brentford.
Instead of Lage selecting Hwang over Jimenez, he could partner them together. Both possess very different skillsets and Hwang’s directness could create space for the former Benfica forward.
In Lage’s previous managerial stint at the Portuguese club, his preference was to start with two forwards. Therefore, this could be a likely solution.
We could also see Jimenez partner with Fabio Silva, although they are more similar as players.
Give Jimenez a rest
If Hwang or Silva starts it would also give Wolves the chance to rest the striker.
Jimenez’s injury aside, since he signed for Wolves he has had very little competition for the striker’s role – with multiple players vying for the same spot it could possibly encourage him to up his game.
The rest could also do him the world of good. Despite the international break, he has started every league game for Wolves and might benefit arriving off the bench when the opposition is more tired.
Hopefully, one of these solutions work and it is only a short matter of time before the striker is celebrating a goal with a full Molineux again.