When it’s come to luring new strikers to Wolves, the club haven’t really got things spot on.
Those players are all in danger of falling into the category of Leo Bonatini, Leonardo Campana and Rafa Mir.
Though, while both Bonatini and Campana are failing to catch the eye during their loan spells, Mir has lit up La Liga in scintillating fashion.
The 23-year-old was signed from Valencia in 2018 and after a woeful set of temporary spells at various clubs in Europe, he was loaned to Huesca this term without little thought.
Mir has never scored in English football and is dubbed one of the worst signings in Nottingham Forest’s history.
Should Mir get a second chance at Wolves?
He signed for Forest on loan in 2019/20 but didn’t find the net in 11 appearances. A move back to Spain has been influential, however.
The striker is now one of the best strikers in the Spanish top-flight and has even scored against Barcelona. That may have been from the penalty spot but it was tucked away with the confidence of a player in the form of his life.
Mir has scored two hat-tricks this term, against Real Valladolid and Marchamalo while he also bagged against Copa del Rey winners Real Sociedad.
The marksman now has 15 goals in all competitions and has beaten the goalkeeper on six occasions in his last five outings. Evidently, he is very much a different player from the one who has struggled so regularly in England.
The Wolves loanee has scored more goals in La Liga this term than Joao Felix, Antoine Griezmann and impressive Spanish internationals Mikel Oyarzabal and Iago Aspas.
But what’s changed for Mir? Well, he’s now got a manager that trusts him and the entire Huesca team is built around him.
Speaking to The Athletic earlier this season, Spanish football writer Robbie Dunne only had praise for the forward.
Dunne began: “He’s a little bit like Diego Costa in that he’s aggressive, he likes running the channels, he holds off defenders, he’s athletic and strong. He’s not exactly technically gifted but he has an unorthodox running style that works for him, he can keep the ball, he’s got a powerful strike, he’s quick and he’s good in the air.”
Considering Wolves were reportedly interested in a move for Diego Costa last January, perhaps they were wise to swerve a move. After all, Dunne claims Wolves already have a player like him on their books.
The writer added: “The only weakness is that he’s not very technically capable, so perhaps he doesn’t add a whole lot in the build-up, meaning a game can pass him by. You see him getting frustrated when he’s not on the ball. He’s maybe got an assassin’s mentality. When there are enough crosses coming into the box and down those channels, he can thrive.”
That final line sounds an awful lot like Raul Jimenez. Wolves have lacked an out and out goal scorer this term with the Mexican missing since November while he recovers from a fractured skull.
He is a player who thrives on creative players getting into the channels and then either delivering a cross or pulling the ball back for him. It’s clear that Mir appreciates the same sort of service in Spain.
With both players standing at 6 foot 3, they’d offer a similar presence in attacking areas. Wolves have lacked plenty in forward areas this season so they should consider handing Mir a proper opportunity in 2021/22.
With the right help and service, he could be Nuno Santo’s next Jimenez.
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