Wolverhampton Wanderers goalkeeper Carl Ikeme has been rather brilliantly selected as the 24th player for Nigeria at the World Cup which kicks off next month – and FIFA’s official World Cup game have matched the gesture by including him too.
Though Ikeme won’t be participating in the major tournament, he’ll feature on the FIFA add on which is now live.
If you have a copy of Fifa 18, be it on PS4 or Xbox One, you can download the World Cup mode for free, thanks to the popularity of the same option four years ago when the competition took place in Brazil.
And so, at least in a video gaming sense, Ikeme joins compatriots such as John Obi Mikel, Wilfred Ndidi, Victor Moses and Alex Iwobi as being selectable on the official video game.
The fan favourite is rated at 70 by EA Sports.
Carl Ikeme’s attribute ratings…
The stopper, who was diagnosed with acute leukaemia, has not played a game this campaign due to his ongoing treatment.
Wolves of course did the business in his stead, winning promotion back to the Premier League in very impressive circumstances.
While Ikeme, 31, last played a professional match in March 2017, Nigerian international coach Gernot Rohr has selected him as an extra player – in keeping with a long-standing tradtion.
Ex-Albion striker Peter Odemwingie was once selected as the unregistered player and now Ikeme follows suit after helping his nation in the qualifying stages.
“Carl Ikeme will be our 24th player to the World Cup,” Rohr said ahead of Saturday’s friendly with England at Wembley.
Nigeria take on Croatia, Iceland and Argentina in the tournament in Russia this summer.
Batting off Boly interest
Wolverhampton Wanderers are expected to complete the protracted signing of Willy Boly on a permanent basis in the near future – despite interest from elsewhere.
Wolves are thought to be close to a deal to bring towering centre-half Boly back to Molineux from Porto ahead of the commencement of their Premier League campaign, for a fee in the region of £10m.
That is even though fellow Premier League rivals Bournemouth were also reportedly interested in snapping Boly up.
Our sister title the Mirror writes that the Boly’s displays last term caught the eye of Cherries boss Eddie Howe, who this summer has considered moving for him.
It appears, though, that Boly is still destined for the old gold.
The Frenchman enjoyed an extremely impressive campaign with Wolves under the tutelage of Nuno Espirito Santo and played a significant role at the back alongside Conor Coady, in particular, when it came to securing promotion and the Championship title.
The 27-year-old, who played only four league matches for Porto the season before he arrived in England, didn’t enjoy the easiest of starts.
He was ruled out for two months at the beginning of the campaign with a hamstring strain, but when he returned he showcased his footballing abilities and cool head under pressure.
Boly scored three times in 37 appearances last season, in victories over Norwich City, Bolton Wanderers and Leeds United.