Wolves striker Raul Jimenez excused from summer trip to China

By Nick Mashiter, PA
PA Ready Sport

Record signing Raul Jimenez will be excused from Wolves’ summer trip to China as the club look to manage his workload this season.

The striker only finished his campaign on Sunday after helping Mexico beat the USA 1-0 to win the Gold Cup.

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He was named as the Player of the Tournament after scoring five times having netted 17 goals on loan at Wolves last season.

Jimenez, who officially became a Wolves player this month after a £30million switch from Benfica, has played 57 times for club and country since August.

Boss Nuno Espirito Santo is eager not to rush the 28-year-old back and he will sit out the trip to Nanjing for the Asia Trophy when the squad fly on Sunday.

“Raul and (Romain) Saiss will not go to China and they will be here on the 22nd (of July),” said Nuno ahead of Wolves’ friendly with Newcastle on Wednesday.

“For Raul, you look at last season and he had a different season than the previous three seasons (playing more).

“We have to realise what we are going to do. It would be a big mistake to force him and not give him enough time, not to completely recover, but to rest. It’s important.

“We keep the same the programme for every player. Every player involved in their national team, the day after they finish, they have two weeks (off).”

Wolves start their season in the Europa League second qualifying round against Belfast side Crusaders or B36 Torshavn from the Faroe Islands at Molineux on July 25.

They qualified for Europe for the first time in 39 years following Watford’s FA Cup final defeat to Manchester City after coming seventh last term.

But Nuno insisted he is not thinking about bettering last season after their fine return to the Premier League.

“I don’t look at things like that,” he said.

“I think the team can improve in many aspects of the game, that is what I am looking for, not classification.

“We have to improve our game and be more consistent through the competition and avoid situations that not performing well in two or three matches can create a bad moment and momentum.

“You always have to try to react knowing you are not going to win every game.”

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