Raul Jimenez vows to kick on after first Wolves goal since his head injury

The 30-year-old only returned to action at the start of the campaign following a career-threatening fractured skull.

Raul Jimenez (right) ended his long wait for a club goal (Adam Davy/PA)
Raul Jimenez (right) ended his long wait for a club goal (Adam Davy/PA)

Wolves striker Raul Jimenez is targeting a return to his prolific best after completing his comeback from a horror head injury with a first Premier League goal for 11 months.

Mexico international Jimenez earned Wanderers’ second top-flight success of the campaign with a superb solo effort in Sunday’s 1-0 victory at Southampton.

The 30-year-old only returned to action at the start of the campaign following a career-threatening fractured skull suffered at Arsenal last November.

“Of course I have been looking for this goal since the start of the Premier League and now I feel really good – it feels fantastic to be back on the scoresheet,” he told Wolves TV.

“It means a lot; a lot of hard work during this nine months. I have to keep working like this, I have to be focused on what I want.

“I wanted this and I wanted to finish the puzzle. Now I am going to keep working to continue with this, keep scoring and helping the team to have more points.”

Jimenez struck 44 times in all competitions across his first two seasons at Molinuex and had scored on four occasions last term before a sickening collision with David Luiz at the Emirates Stadium, which has left him sporting protective headgear.

The former Benfica frontman ended a 336-day wait for a club goal dating back to a 1-1 draw against Newcastle on October 25, 2020 by bamboozling Southampton centre-backs Jan Bednarek and Mohammed Salisu before calmly slotting beyond Alex McCarthy.

His second-half moment of magic at St Mary’s came in front of a packed away end and he was eager to acknowledge the support of Wolves’ fans during his lengthy enforced absence.

“Since the first minute the accident happened, they were there,” he said of the supporters.

“I received a lot of support from them and it doesn’t matter if we lose or we win, they’re going to be with us in every moment – that’s what the Wolves family is.

“We’re working hard together in the pitch and they are feeling happy with us.”

Southampton remain winless in the league this season after a third successive outing without a goal.

Saints boss Ralph Hasenhuttl paid tribute to Jimenez’s recovery but was less enamoured with his own strike force.

“I think the last year what he was going through was absolutely hard,” the Austrian said of the opposition player.

“I think that it is very good for him – and you do not see him backing out of duels and tackles, he tried to push back.

“We could not stop him the one time he did well and he doesn’t need many chances to score.”

Southampton sold prolific striker Danny Ings to Aston Villa in the summer.

His replacement Adam Armstrong, fellow forward Che Adams and Chelsea loanee Armando Broja have just one top-flight goal between them this term.

Speaking of his own attack, Hasenhuttl said: “We know that we have a few new players up front and to score a goal in the Premier League you need something special.

“At the moment we do not have that.”

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