Raul Jimenez: Wolves striker scores first goal since life-threatening head injury

Wolves fans celebrate
Wolves supporters have only seen eight goals in total scored in their first six Premier League games

It was the moment the 3,000 raucous Wolves fans had been waiting for.

Talismanic striker Raul Jimenez shrugged off the attentions of two Southampton defenders before finishing calmly past Alex McCarthy for his first goal in 336 days.

The £30 million Mexican was one of the most lethal forwards in the Premier League before suffering a life-threatening skull fracture against Arsenal in November 2020.

After a long road to recovery, and now sporting a protective skull cap, Jimenez is back among the scorers once again.

Symbolically, Jimenez briefly removed his cap after scoring as he was mobbed by his team-mates and received the adoration of the travelling supporters.

Jimenez said the goal felt like "payback" for his hard work in getting back to playing.

"I've been looking for this goal since the start of the Premier League, and it feels fantastic to be back on the scoresheet," he told the Wolves website.

"I knew the goal was coming - I was fighting for it, I was working for it and we, all the team, deserve this.

"I've worked hard for this, but I'm going to keep working hard.

"I wanted to finish the puzzle. I wanted this goal so much, but now I have my payback."

Jimenez scored 30 goals in his first two seasons in England and played a huge role in establishing Wolves as a stable Premier League club.

Without him, the Midlands club have struggled for goals and this season started the same way, just two in five games, one of which was an own goal at Watford.

Jimenez has shown flickers of form, but it has taken a while to get up to speed, understandable given he admitted last month it's "a miracle to be here".

He said on Twitter:external-link "This goal is not celebrated by me alone, it is celebrated by my family, all my team-mates, the doctors, physios, and all the people who have always supported me and never doubted that I would come back stronger. This is the way and keep working to go for more."

"The goal means a lot to Raul," said Wolves boss Bruno Lage. "He is a top player and he needs confidence."

Southampton 0-1 Wolves: Bruno Lage credits supporters for giving players confidence

'A moment money can't buy' - how we reacted

Former Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas told BBC MOTD: "Before his injury, he was playing so well he would have on the radar of Man Utd, Man City, all the top clubs. With all the hard work he has put in, he will get back there again."

BBC pundit Tony Pulis said: "What a goal! Looks like Jimenez is back to his best.

"There was only one glimmer of quality in the game and that was when he found the back of the net.

"Wolves will be over the moon because they've got their main man back now firing."

BBC Radio 5 Live commentator Conor McNamara said: "That's a moment that money can't buy."

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