Liverpool and West Ham are reportedly interested in signing 26-year-old Benfica forward Raul Jimenez this summer
According to a report by A Bola, Benfica are preparing to receive bids for Raul Jimenez this summer, as Liverpool and West Ham seem interested in signing the Mexican striker.
Jimenez was a part of the Mexico squad that took part in the recently concluded Confederations Cup and is understood to be up for sale after being a record signing for the Portuguese club. The forward joined Benfica from Atletico Madrid for about £18.9 million back in 2015.
That deal also saw him become the most expensive Mexican footballer in history. He netted 11 goals across all competitions for Benfica last season and has recorded 12 international goals. Jimenez also scored in Mexico’s 2-1 win over New Zealand, and was sent off against Portugal in the third place play-off defeat.
Jurgen Klopp has been in the market for a centre-forward but what needs to be noted is that the Mexico international struggled to make a strong impact at Atletico Madrid and has does not have good numbers for Benfica either.
During the 2016-17 campaign, the 26-year-old scored only seven goals and provided one assist in his 19 Primeira Liga appearances. He does not lack in the talent department, but then being an average scorer is not going to help Liverpool or West Ham.
The Merseyside club are set to launch a stronger fight next season as they deal with their Champions League and Premier League commitments. Klopp has remarkably transformed Liverpool and will be looking to continue the progress by possibly making a serious title push and for that he will need a proven goal-scorer.
West Ham, on the other hand, finished in the 11th place last season and will be focusing on securing a top-ten finish at least. They need quality to do that and while Jimenez can be further developed by honing his skills, the Hammers may not have that luxury at this point since they need to put their energy into making a better finish.
While Jimenez can hope to improve further and register better numbers, it is most likely that he can be used as a back-up option rather than a regular starter. That is something Klopp could use since he will need alternatives to cope with potential injuries in the upcoming season since it will be demanding.
For West Ham though, Jimenez might not seem like the best option right now. They need to put all their effort into creating a better team and also to avoid spending unnecessarily and purchase better quality players to bolster their attack.
The Hammers were linked with signing Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud and the Frenchman appears to be a better option since he will not need time to adjust to the rigours of the Premier League and has comparatively better numbers than Jimenez.