Gio Savarese spent a good amount of time on Thursday afternoon answering various questions about new signing Raul. There's very little question that the player was one of his generation's greatest, but at 37 years old, there's still some questions about what he has left in the tank.
One of the topics Savarese touched upon was exactly why he feels that Raul will adapt. The NASL is noted for being a physical league, and Gio said the following on his new number 7:
It’s true that this league is a physical league. Some players that have come from overseas with good quality haven’t been able to perform well because of that. I think the most important thing that Raúl brings – besides his technical qualities and all his soccer qualities – is his knowledge. He is experienced. He is an intelligent player. He is a player that has always found a way to be successful. That’s why I am sure he will do well. He will learn how to be efficient. He will learn how to do the right things that make us better. He is an intelligent soccer mind, and for that reason I know he’ll be able to navigate the physicality of this league.
In some regards, this was always the case with Raul. He never had the physical gifts that guys like Didier Drogba or Zlatan Ibrahimovic possessed, but still managed a long and extremely successful career without. That success was due in large part to intelligent movement and the ability to find space, skills that shouldn't decline at all as he loses a step or two.
That said, at some point all the intelligent movement in the world won't be enough to compensate for declining physical skills. Hopefully, it's a few years before Raul reaches that point, and ideally his new teammates will use that time to learn a thing or two.