Wolves have done absolutely everything they can to absorb the impact of Raul Jimenez’s injury, but the truth is they just don’t have the quality in their squad to replace their talisman – which is no insult considering he’s bloody brilliant.
Despite glimpses of potential from youngster Fabio Silva, it was clear for all to see that Nuno Espirito Santo’s side were in desperate need of a replacement striker, and they’ve finally got their man.
Real Sociedad striker Willian Jose arrives at Molineux on loan for the remainder of the 2020/21 campaign, with Wolves holding the option of signing the Brazilian permanently at the end of the season should they wish.
The 29-year-old is likely to play a huge part in the second half of the campaign, so it’s time to get to know Wolves’ newest recruit.
Willian Jose began his professional career at Brazilian side Barueri before moving to Deportivo Maldonado (where he spent an interesting five years, but more on that shortly).
At 22 years of age he departed his native Brazil and took the leap into European football, and what better place to start than Real Madrid.
Having impressed in the lower leagues with the B team, Willian Jose was promoted to the Real senior squad, though he would make just one appearance for the Spanish behemoths before his loan deal expired.
While you probably know very little about the life and career of Willian Jose, the name probably rings a bell – and not just because it sounds like a Football Manager regen.
The Brazilian has attracted plenty of interest from the Premier League in recent years, with Everton and most recently Tottenham keeping tabs on the Real Sociedad frontman.
And it’s not just English sides that have courted him, Barcelona were also said to be monitoring his performances prior to signing Martin Braithwaite last season.
It seems odd to describe a 29-year-old who’s only ever had three permanent clubs in his career as a ‘journeyman’ – but that’s pretty much what he is.
Wolves have become the seventh team to sign Willian Jose on a temporary basis since 2011, with his former club Deportivo Maldonado shipping him out on loan no fewer than six times in just four years.
Despite his obvious potential, the Brazilian never made an appearance for Deportivo Maldonado in his five years at the club, before finally securing a permanent move to Real Sociedad in 2016.
Willian Jose has yet to be capped by the Brazil senior side, however, he picked up his fair share of winner’s medals as part of his country’s youth teams.
The forward experienced success as both the Under-20 World Cup and the South American Youth Championship alongside some stellar names including Neymar, Philippe Coutinho, Oscar and Lucas Moura.
Now to the important question. Is this a short-sighted, knee-jerk reaction from Wolves to bring in a forward, or have they taken their time before choosing the right man to fill Jimenez’s boots?
C’mon now, if the past few years has taught us anything it’s that the Wolves transfer team know what they’re doing.
At 6 ft 3 Willian Jose is a great focal point and he has the strength to hold off defenders and bring others into play. Last season he won 55% of his aerial duels compared to Jimenez’s 42%, and while his stats may not look prolific, he notched 11 league goals last season – only two less than Jimenez when you discount penalties.
So, in answer to our original question – yes, he definitely can fill the void left by Wolves’ Mexican hitman.