Raúl Jiménez Ready for a Summer Return to Club América?

The Fulham striker has spent ten years in Europe, starting with his initial move to Atletico Madrid from Club América. Is his European adventure coming to an end?
Luton Town v Fulham FC - Premier League
Luton Town v Fulham FC - Premier League / Stephen Pond/GettyImages

It’s that time of year when transfer rumours swirl around various players and clubs. One rumour gaining traction is the potential return of Raúl Jiménez to the Mexican capital to rejoin Las Águilas.

The striker switched one capital for another aged 23 to join Diego Simeone's Atletico Madrid. The 2014 deal took Jiménez away from América to pursue a dream of playing at the highest level.

Failing to hit the heights in his first season, the Mexican scored just once in 28 appearances for Los Rojiblancos before being shipped off to Lisbon where he would play for Benfica in the Primeira Liga. Fortunes soon changed following his move to the Portuguese capital. Still aged 24, Jiménez scored 12 goals in his debut campaign, which included three in the UEFA Champions League before netting another 19 times across the next two seasons. His time in Portugal was also capped with two Portuguese league titles and one Portuguese cup title.

Catching the eye of teams around Europe, Jiménez put pen to paper to seal a move to the English Premier League where he would sign for at-the-time newly promoted Wolverhampton Wanderers. The club signed him on an initial €3 million loan move before turning it into a permanent move in the following year for €38 million, breaking the club's all-time record for a signing.

The former América star went on to play five seasons at the Molineux Stadium with his standout season coming during the 2019/20 campaign. A season where he netted 17 goals in the Premier League and 10 in the UEFA Europa League.

His red-hot form across the first two seasons was brought to a crashing halt in 2020 after an almost career-ending head injury. Read here the full story told by the BBC. After competing for the ball in the air with Arsenal defender David Luiz, Jiménez came crashing down and landed on his head. Diagnosed with a fractured skull, the striker was expected to never kick a ball again. In a remarkable turnaround, Jiménez was back preparing for Premier League action within eight months of the incident. Being advised to not train with his teammates for six of those months, his return to football left everyone shocked.

Unsurprisingly, the near-death incident left the player only to be a shadow of his past self. Featuring 36 times the following season, he scored just six times. His final campaign with the club saw him only score three goals before switching Birmingham for London in a move to Fulham.

Confirming a move to Marco Silva's Fulham, Jiménez was often used as a rotational player, falling in the pecking order to in-form Brazilian youngster Rodrigo Muniz. The striker started just one league game in 2024, which was on the final day of the season where he would bag a brace against Luton Town. His seven Premier League goals The Cottagers solidified his place as the second-highest Mexican goalscorer in Premier League history, only seven goals behind former Manchester United and West Ham United forward Javier "Chicarito" Hernández.

His limited playing time and absence from the Mexican National Team ahead of the 2024 Copa América suggests a potential transfer could be imminent. Jiménez faces a challenging task to reclaim his place in Jaime Lozano's squad. The manager has emphasised the need to give younger players opportunities to prepare for the 2026 FIFA World Cup, which will be partially hosted by Mexico. For the veteran forward, both his age and lack of game time are significant obstacles.

Following reports from MARCA, Jiménez will need to decide on his future this summer. A return to his boyhood club remains a possibility, but a chance to remain in Europe may also be tempting. The same report indicates that Besiktas and Trabzonspor in Turkey are keen for his signature for the 2024/25 campaign.