Wolves coach asks Raul Jimenez to choose club before country

Raul Jimenez of Wolves-Stoke City v Wolverhampton Wanderer
Raul Jimenez of Wolves-Stoke City v Wolverhampton Wanderer

New Wolverhampton Wanderers coach Julen Lopetegui has asked his club’s striker Raul Jimenez to prioritise playing for his club rather than his country.

Jimenez has not played for Wolves since August 31 because of a groin injury. However, despite being out of action for three months, he has been called up by the Mexico National team for the upcoming FIFA World Cup.

The striker was even named on the bench for Mexico’s pre-tournament friendly with Iraq, much to the anger of his club.

Speaking at his first press conference since becoming Wolves coach, former Real Madrid and Sevilla coach, Julen Lopetegui who has signed a three-year deal with the Premier League’s bottom club, revealed he had held talks with Jimenez to make it clear where his priorities should lie.

“I have spoken to Raul about Mexico and I am worried about him,’ said Lopetegui.

“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 also spoke about his hopes for the January transfer window, stating that he was hopeful of getting new players.

“I hope we will sign new players in January but for now it is about working with the group we have,’ added the 56-year-old. ‘We believe in this squad.”