Despite a protracted injury layoff, Raul Jimenez was reprimanded by his new Wolves manager for his priorities. Jimenez is still a member of Mexico’s World Cup roster.
The fact that his star forward is traveling to Qatar as a member of Mexico’s 26-man squad has not pleased Julen Lopetegui, who believes the World Cup journey would be detrimental to Wolves’ long-term fitness. But given Jimenez’s devotion to his national team and the uncommon chance to serve his country on the highest platform, his remarks are contentious.
Julen Lopetegui’s comment
“I have spoken to Raul about Mexico and I am worried about him,” said Lopetegui, who was recently hired by Wolves after being sacked by Sevilla. “He hasn’t played for Wolves for a long time. We need him at his best and I hope he will come back in this way. The most important thing is not the World Cup. It’s Wolves.
“We have to defend our aims. I have respect for his situation and for Mexico but my focus is Wolves.”
Lopetegui’s Wolves career
Since taking over as Wolves’ manager on November 5, Lopetegui has had little opportunity to get to know Jimenez or the rest of the team. Early in his career, his words run the danger of sparking a reaction in the dressing room.
On Monday, Mexico revealed their final 26-man World Cup roster, and one of their four forwards was Jimenez. He’ll likely get the nod to start on November 22 against Poland.