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Wolves will move in January to cover Raul Jimenez absence – Nuno Espirito Santo

Wolverhampton Wanderers v Brighton and Hove Albion – Premier League – Molineux
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Nuno Espirito Santo says Wolves are prepared to act quickly in the January transfer window to make up for the “terrible” absence of Raul Jimenez.

Mexico striker Jimenez suffered a fractured skull following his clash of heads with Arsenal defender David Luiz last month and no time frame has been put on the 29-year-old’s return.

Portuguese teenager Fabio Silva scored his first goal following his club-record £35million move from Porto in September, a late penalty in Monday’s 2-1 defeat at Burnley, but Nuno says Wolves are ready to move when the transfer window opens on January 2.

“We are preparing,” Nuno said ahead of Sunday’s home game with Tottenham.

“There is no day that we don’t speak to each other. The manager, the technical staff, Scott (Sellars, general manager football technical), every day.

“Of course we have to rebalance our squad, it’s still a long season ahead of us.”

The loss of Jimenez, who has scored 48 goals in two-and-a-half years at Molineux, was a huge blow for Wolves and the impact on the team was said to be the equivalent of Spurs losing their star striker Harry Kane.

“I will not compare it, but I would say the absence of Raul is very important to us,” Nuno said.

“We feel it and we felt it since the moment it happened. It is a huge blow because it is not only what he does on the pitch, but what he means for the squad.

“The confidence that the players have in him, the belief that until the last minute that he is going to put it inside (the goal).

“I will not compare to other teams, but I will admit that for us his absence is terrible.”

Wolves have lost three of their four games since Jimenez was injured on November 29 to fall into the bottom half of the Premier League.

Adama Traore’s influence has also waned in recent weeks with the powerful Spanish winger starting the last two games on the bench – and Nuno says the 24-year-old has become an obvious target for defenders.

He said: “My admiration for Adama is obvious, he’s a unique player. Fantastic, so talented.

“But since Adama returned from the national team (in November) he is dragging a situation, which is not giving total comfort to his actions.

“He has a knock on his foot, but the commitment and will that he has to overcome the pain means I am immensely proud of Adama.

“Every time he plays he is one of the players that is clearly a target. It happened against Chelsea in the first action, that he had a big knock.

“He was getting better and in one second it goes worse. But this is football.”