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West Ham’s missed opportunity in Raul Jimenez laid painfully bare

West Ham United

West Ham’s missed opportunity in Raul Jimenez laid painfully bare

The Mexican striker has been in great form for Wolves this season.

Wolves fans have certainly taken to new striker Raul Jimenez. The tireless Mexican striker has been in fine form for the club this season since arriving on an initial loan spell from Benfica.

His goal against Liverpool yesterday was his seventh of the season and fans at Molineux are loving his effort at the top end of the field.

It is the sort of form which will no doubt show West Ham fans what they might have had.

Benfica’s Mexican forward Raul Jimenez reacts during the Primeira Liga football match Sporting CP vs SL Benfica at the Alvadade stadium in Lisbon, Portugal, on May 5, 2018. ( Photo by Pedro Fiúza/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

West Ham infamously missed out on signing Jimenez in 2015. The Mexican was all set to join West Ham, with a work permit provided. However, with West Ham crashing out of Europe, he and his agent Jorge Mendes pushed through a move to Benfica from Atletico Madrid instead.

There were rumours he had missed his flight after oversleeping, something he stringently denied in the summer.


“The way it was, was that one day I had a proposal from West Ham and the next day Benfica and that was it.

“Benfica wanted to buy me but West Ham was a loan deal. So that was the thing. It wasn’t anything to do with sleep.”

– Raul Jimenez on why he did not join West Ham

 

Instead, Jimenez headed to Benfica in a deal reported to be worth just an initial £713,000, according to the Daily Mail.

Slaven Bilic was left disappointed and short in the striking position, something which blighted West Ham throughout the next two seasons under the Croatian.

When West Ham asked about signing the player again, in 2017, Benfica told them he would cost £45 million, as reported by O Jogo.

Seeing him thrive in English football will no doubt have West Ham fans disappointed he is not currently a mainstay at the London Stadium.

Sports journalist based in Bristol. Everton fan for my sins.

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