Reports of his imminent acquisition by Toronto FC circulated in Europe since the new year, but heated up over the past week when several Polish sports media sources declared his departure from Górnik Zabrze, his club in Poland. Jiménez had let his former employer know of his intentions to move on from the club for several months. Other rumoured destinations had him headed to the Turkish Süper Lig or Mexico’s Liga MX until Toronto FC’s name came to the forefront. It is believed that TFC paid Górnik Zabrze a €650,000 (about $942,500 CAD) release clause as his current contract was not up until June 2022.
A native of Leganés, Spain, Jiménez, 28, joins Toronto FC after having spent the past three and a half seasons with Górnik Zabrze in Poland’s top flight Ekstraklasa. Jiménez made his debut with Górnik when he started against Moldovan club Zaria Bălți in the UEFA Europa League qualifiers on July 12, 2018. The six foot striker made 134 appearances and scored 43 goals with 25 assists in all competitions (Ekstraklasa, Polish Cup and Europa League) for Górnik.
Prior to his move to Poland, Jiménez played for CF Talavera de la Reina of the Spanish Third Division in the 2016/2017 season. There he scored 26 league goals in 33 matches, to help the club win promotion to Segunda B. During his two seasons with Talavera, Jiménez scored 36 goals in a combined 68 appearances across all competitions.
Jiménez’s early career was spent in the youth system of Club Deportivo Leganés (CD Leganés), where he played with their reserves team. Additionally, Jiménez spent time with Agrupación Deportiva Unión Adarve (2013/2014), Alcorcón B (2014/2015), Atlético Pinto (2015) and Club Deportivo Illescas (2015/2016).
Jesús Jiménez was previously identified as an ideal transfer target by Waking the Red when it was evident that sweeping changes to the TFC roster were imminent. Most often deployed as a target man at the tip of the Górnik Zabrze spear, where he is also most likely to feature for Toronto FC, Jiménez is capable of playing across the front line as a second striker or winger on either side. A proven scorer wherever he has played, Jiménez is also a capable provider as his 25 assists attest.
“Jesús is a skilful attacker who has a combination of excellent movement and dribbling,” said TFC Head Coach and Sporting Director Bob Bradley in a press release. “He scores goals and creates chances for teammates. We are looking forward to having him join our team in training camp as we prepare for the season.”
Welcome to the Reds Jesús Jiménez.