Kevin Phillips insisted Wolves can ill afford to lose Raul Jimenez this summer and claimed he is the most important of the front three at Molineux. 

The former Sunderland and West Brom striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, suggested the 27-year-old is “second to none” as a number nine and is, therefore, irreplaceable.

Jimenez has enjoyed a sensational campaign for the Wanderers – scoring 22 goals and providing 10 assists in his 44 appearances in all competitions.

The Mexican has spearheaded a formidable front-three with Adam Traore and Diogo Jota at Molineux. The trio have, collectively, scored 43 goals and provided 26 assists this campaign.

As revealed by Football Insider, Traore is attracting interest from league leaders Liverpool and have subsequently slapped a £70million price tag on the winger.

When asked by Football Insider which of the front-three Nuno Espirito Santo could least afford to lose this summer, Phillips said: “I like them all. Jimenez for me because you do not get many of those old fashioned centre-forwards. He can do everything. Head it, hold it up, run and he scores goals.

“You name me every other player out there who can do that. I know there is Haaland at Dortmund but you are talking big money.

“Jota is a good player but you can find other technical players.

“Traore has something nobody else has got in his raw pace but you can find tricky wingers.

“Jimenez’s all-round game, as a number nine, is second to none. It would be really hard to replace him if he was to go.”

Jimenez signed permanently from Benfica last summer following a successful loan spell the season prior and still has three years remaining on his contract.

In other Wolves news, Paul Robinson has told Football Insider he can see ‘most improved player in PL history’ moving to Anfield this summer.