Dave Edwards criticises Julen Lopetegui for not giving Raul Jimenez minutes against Everton
Wolverhampton Wanderers v Everton FC - Premier League
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Dave Edwards criticises Julen Lopetegui for not giving Raul Jimenez minutes against Everton

Former Wolves midfielder Dave Edwards has criticised the decision by Julen Lopetegui to keep Raul Jimenez on the bench against Everton on Saturday.

The Mexican has been struggling for minutes over the last few months, and missed six matchday squads in a row before returning for a cameo against Manchester United.

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It had been suggested that other players in the squad were simply showing a greater intensity than he was.

Wolves had their final home game of the season on Saturday against Everton, and many fans had been hoping to see Jimenez play.

There has been some talk about him leaving in the summer, so it was potentially a final outing for him at Molineux.

Some had wanted him to start the game. But Lopetegui went with Hwang Hee-chan through the middle, and Daniel Podence and Pablo Sarabia as the wide men.

Surely then, Jimenez would be getting his moment in the second-half.

But it never came, with Lopetegui calling Matheus Cunha and Boubacar Traore as his final two substitutes. Jimenez was visibly upset by this, with journalist Liam Keen reporting he ‘ripped his training jacket off, threw it at the bench and stormed down the tunnel’.

Jimenez then reappeared after the final whistle to acknowledge the fans. The striker was in tears as he walked around.

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In the eyes of Edwards, Lopetegui’s treatment of Jimenez wasn’t right. He said (Express & Star): “The main disappointing thing was perhaps Raul Jimenez not coming on. Everyone in that stadium from a Wolves perspective wanted him to come on for the last couple of minutes to get an ovation and a farewell.

“He will probably go down as one of the best five strikers in Wolves’ history, especially before that awful injury he had at Arsenal.

“He has been terrific for the majority of his Wolves career. I know he has had his up downs this season, but he really deserved a moment on the pitch at the end.”

Julen Lopetegui got it wrong with Raul Jimenez on Saturday

Lopetegui has done a lot of great things since he came to the club.

But his treatment of Jimenez on Saturday was actually unfathomable.

This is one of the best players in the club’s history we are talking about. Someone who has provided Wolves fans with some amazing memories.

Why could he not just have put him on for a little cameo?

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Maybe something has happened behind the scenes. But surely whatever’s happened doesn’t warrant the striker being robbed of a chance to say goodbye to the fans.

Without knowing everything that’s gone, it just felt like an unnecessarily cold action from the manager. It is understandable that a lot of supporters are annoyed with what he did.

Jimenez may have acted questionably this season regarding that situation with his injury and the World Cup. But Edwards is right – he did not deserve that on Saturday.