Wolverhampton Wanderers could lose Carl Ikeme in the near future if they fail to gain promotion to the Premier League next year, the Championship side’s former goalkeeper has warned his old club.
Matt Murray, 35, believes Wolves will have to match Nigeria goalkeeper Ikeme’s ambitions if he is to stay at the club when his contract at Molineux expires next summer.
Murray, who was forced to hang up his gloves in 2008 after his career was plagued by injuries, is friends with Ikeme, who has seven caps for the Super Eagles since switching his international allegiance to Nigeria.
Ikeme,30, who was born in England, made his international debut for Nigeria in their Gabon 2017 qualifier against Tanzania in Dar es Salaam on September 5, 2015. The game ended in a goalless draw.
Ikeme, who has spent 15 years at Molineux, bounced back from warming the bench to help Wolves retain their Championship status – after on-loan Arsenal keeper Emiliano Martinez suffered a thigh injury. The development forced the Wanderers boss Kenny Jackett to keep faith in Ikeme.
“He’s still hungry, he wants to keep progressing and he’ll want the club to match his ambitions because he’s desperate to play in the Premier League. He loves the club to bits,” Murray was quoted by Wolves Express & Star during the week.
“I hope he stays at Wolves – he could be a key, key player for them next season. He’s top drawer.
“With his ability, and the fact he’s an international and so consistent, you could see Premier League clubs looking at him. It wouldn’t be surprise to me if Wolves tried to tie him down to a deal.
“He’s a specimen, a really good pro. When I came in he was 16 and I was 21 – now the age gap doesn’t seem so big. I’m very proud of him and love him to bits.”