Lopetegui 'worried' by injury-hit Jimenez's inclusion in Mexico World Cup squad

Photo by Jack Thomas - WWFC/Wolves via Getty Images

New Wolves head coach Julen Lopetegui is "worried" after Raul Jimenez was named in Mexico's World Cup squad despite not playing since August.

Former Sevilla and Real Madrid coach Lopetegui officially took charge at Wolves on Monday but will have to wait until after the World Cup break for his first game.

Jimenez has only made three Premier League appearances this season, totalling 211 minutes, after battling with a groin injury but was still included in Mexico's 26-man list to travel to Qatar.

With Wolves four points adrift of safety at the bottom of the top-flight table, Lopetegui says his primary concern is having his key forward to call upon after the break.

"The most important thing is not the World Cup, it's Wolves," Lopetegui said during his first press conference in England.

"I have spoken with Raul, I am worried about him because he doesn't play a minute with his team, Wolves.

"We need all of them but we need Raul fit and the best version. I hope he will come back here in this way. I respect the decision of the player and the coach but above all for me it's Wolves."

Mexico and Wolves have already endured a fractured relationship, with Gerardo Martino's team apologising after naming an unfit Jimenez on their bench for Wednesday's 4-0 friendly victory over Iraq.

The 31-year-old was in attendance at Molineux for the 2-0 home defeat to Arsenal on Saturday before being announced in a Mexico squad that includes Napoli's Hirving Lozano and Ajax defender Edson Alvarez.

But there was no room for former Manchester United striker Javier Hernandez, who scored 18 goals in 34 MLS appearances for Los Angeles Galaxy in 2022.

Martino's men start their World Cup campaign against Poland on November 22 before facing Argentina and Saudi Arabia in Group C.

Mexico squad in full:

Guillermo Ochoa (Club America), Alfredo Talavera (Juarez), Rodolfo Cota (Leon); Jorge Sanchez (Ajax), Kevin Alvarez (Pachuca), Nestor Araujo (Club America), Johan Vasquez (Cremonese), Hector Moreno (Monterrey), Cesar Montes (Monterrey), Gerardo Arteaga (Genk), Jesus Gallardo (Monterrey); Andres Guardado (Real Betis), Hector Herrera (Houston Dynamo), Charly Rodriguez (Cruz Azul), Erick Gutierrez (PSV), Luis Chavez (Pachuca), Edson Alvarez (Ajax), Orbelin Pineda (AEK Athens), Luis Romo (Monterrey); Alexis Vega (Guadalajara), Hirving Lozano (Napoli), Raul Jimenez (Wolves), Roberto Alvarado (Guadalajara), Uriel Antuna (Cruz Azul), Henry Martin (Club America), Rogelio Funes Mori (Monterrey).