Wolves forward Raúl Jiménez (£6.9m) takes his place up front in our Team of the Season.
The Mexican provided exceptional value for his loyal owners in 2018/19, scoring a total of 181 points.
He also played a key role for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side who finished seventh, qualifying for Europe in their first campaign back in the Premier League.
Not surprisingly, Jiménez topped our forwards poll with 1,216 votes, finishing comfortably ahead of Sergio Aguero (£12.0m) in second.
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However, we will be able to enjoy his exploits in 2019/20? We’ve taken a look…
The former Benfica man found the back of the net 13 times and chipped in with 10 assists in 2018/19, a very impressive return from a striker who cost a mere £5.5m in Gameweek 1.
All of Jiménez’s goals were scored from inside the box but he was a lot more than just a penalty-box merchant.
The Mexican created 13 big chances for his teammates this season, a number matched by just one other forward, Bournemouth’s Callum Wilson (£6.9m).
Looking at his numbers for the whole season, one of the most eye-catching is his tally of 31 bonus points. The only players to earn more this year were Eden Hazard (£11.0m) and Pierre–Emerick Aubameyang (£10.8m).
Jiménez is a player who is well suited to the BPS system in FPL and his owners reaped the benefits of that.
One of the best things about the Wolves forward was his consistency of starts.
On the FPL website, he is the only forward listed for Wolves with rotation never really a worry apart from the latter stages of the FA Cup run.
The 28-year-old featured in all 38 matches this season, making him the ideal ‘set and forget’ budget forward.
When it came to points-scoring, Jiménez was consistent rather than explosive this season, registering just four double-digit hauls, his highest score in a single Gameweek just 12. Accordingly, he ranked sixth amongst forwards for points-per-match (4.8).
Crucially, Jiménez offered reliable threat with only Aleksandar Mitrovic (131) and Sergio Aguero (118) had attempted more shots at goal than Jimenez (111) in 2018/19.
In terms of expected goals (xG), Jimenez ranked fourth for forwards with 15.20, higher than the likes of Harry Kane (14.77) and Wilson (13.43).
Jiménez wasted no time in announcing himself to Fantasy managers, scoring on opening day in the 2-2 draw with Everton at Molineux. Those who jumped on him for Gameweek 2 were left frustrated as he then blanked in the next three matches before he started to return consistently.
He got his second goal and his first bonus points of the campaign in the 1-0 win over Burnley in Gameweek 5 and followed it up with an assist in each of his next three appearances to keep the points trickling in.
His first double-digit haul came against Spurs in Gameweek 11 when he scored, got an assist and took home all three bonus points despite Wolves losing 3-2.
That big return against Spurs wasn’t a one-off as Jiménez ended up performing very well against the top-six sides.
Nine of his 23 attacking returns in 2018/19 came against those teams as he and his team-mates forced Fantasy managers to flip the Season Ticker on its head.
His most productive spell came between Gameweek’s 23 and 32 when he racked up 69 points thanks to six goals, four assists and 16 bonus.
The season did admittedly peter out for Jiménez, as he managed just one attacking return (a goal against Watford in Gameweek 36) over the last six Gameweeks.
Jiménez was an unknown quantity going into the season having just joined Wolves on loan from Benfica. This was reflected in his ownership for Gameweek 1 with just 129,989 managers getting to celebrate his goal against the Toffees.
It wasn’t until Gameweek 7 that his price and ownership began to skyrocket. Following a goal against Chelsea in Gameweek 15, he was in more than one million teams for this first time going into Gameweek 16 only to disappoint his new owners by playing just 30 minutes for a one-point return.
During his strong run of form from Gameweek 23 onwards, Jiménez’s ownership and price rose steadily. In Gameweek 27, he passed the two million mark for ownership and cost £1.3m more than he did at the beginning of the season.
His ownership and price reached their peaks for the home game against Fulham in the penultimate Gameweek of the season, a game in which he blanked despite playing 90 minutes to frustrate his owners. At that point, he was in 2,448,517 teams and had reached a price of £7.0m.
We didn’t know too much about the Mexican this time last year, but we certainly do now.
Sadly, the days of celebrating every Jiménez goal may be over for many of us.
Of all the players in the game, the Mexican is likely to see the biggest price rise for the new season given how well he performed in 2018/19 and how cheap he was.
If he comes in anywhere around the £8.0m mark, a lot of managers may look elsewhere for their budget striker next season.
If Diogo Jota (£6.3m) gets reclassified as a forward for 2019/20, he is likely to be a more popular pick than Jiménez as he will almost certainly be cheaper.
The Portuguese international really found his feet in the second half of the campaign and could be a great option from the start next season.
There is also talk that Wolves could bring in another striker in the summer which could affect Jimenez’s game time. Salomon Rondon (£5.9m) is one name that has been mooted.
Even if they do sign a striker, Jimenez is likely to remain as the number one up front, but we could see him get substituted more often than he did this season and maybe even get rotated from time to time, especially with Wolves competing in the Europa League next season.
Whatever happens in 2019/20, this campaign will be forever remembered in Fantasy folklore as the Raul Jiménez season.
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