Wolves' Jimenez: 'Nothing to Chicharito' comparisons
Wolverhampton Wanderers' Raul Jimenez said there in 'nothing to' comparisons with West Ham striker Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, but did say his Mexico teammate helped him settle into life in the Premier League.
Jimenez scored 13 goals for Wolves this past season while on loan from Benfica to equal Hernandez's haul for Manchester United in 2010-11 to make them the joint highest Mexican goalscorers in a single season in the Premier League.
"We always know that [the comparisons] will exist, that's what in Mexico we are honestly like. We always want to compare someone with someone else, whatever you do there will always be that comparison," said Jimenez in an interview with ESPN's Futbol Picante.
There has been some debate over whether Jimenez or Hernandez should be the starting striker for Mexico, but the latter is not in El Tri's squad for the Gold Cup this summer. That should clear the way for Jimenez, who said Hernandez's advice has helped him adjust to life in the Premier League.
"He helped me learned a little more about English football because [the loan move to Wolves from Benfica] was already agreed before the World Cup," said the 28-year-old. "When he heard about it, he congratulated me and and said it was a great opportunity; that it was a style that would be very well suited to me.
He added: "There's nothing to [the comparisons], we are each doing what we need to become a better footballer."
Jimenez ended the season with 13 goals and seven assists, helping Wolves to a seventh-placed finish. He puts his form down to starting regularly and having the backing of coach Nuno Espirito Santo.
"A lot is down to the type of football, I think I adapted to English football well," said Jimenez. "I believe that's down to my attributes and, aside from that, I think that here [at Wolves] they gave me the opportunity to be the starting striker, to be the goalscorer, that important guy in whom you can trust to give the team options to create goals, as well as score them."
Jimenez signed a permanent deal with Wolves reportedly with £30 million in April, but admitted that during his days mainly warming the Benfica bench he did think about returning to Mexico with Club America.
"There was contact, from their side everything was ready and I would've liked it as well, but in the end an agreement wasn't reached," Jimenez said. "Benfica said I couldn't leave, we were fighting for the title in Portugal and I felt like an important player, even coming off the bench."
The native of Hidalgo state added he wouldn't rule out a return to Spain, where he played for Atletico Madrid, further down the line.