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Ikeme’s leukaemia battle will inspire Wolves, says new boss Santo

Date Posted,August 4, 2017

New Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo says Carl Ikeme’s plight will be their “inspiration” this season.

Goalkeeper Ikeme, 31, was diagnosed last month with acute leukaemia and is undergoing chemotherapy.

The devastating diagnosis ripped through close-knit Wolves, who have since started numerous fundraising efforts to cheer the shot-stopper.

Former Porto manager Santo says his squad are thinking of Ikeme everyday and pulling together.

Ahead of his first game in charge at home to Middlesbrough , Santo,43, said: “What happened with Carl is public and was a big punch for us.

Nuno Espirito Santo is looking to guide Wolves to the Premier League (Image: Getty)

“But the same moment, we know Carl, we know he is a fighter, a big man, his character says he is going to get through this.

“So we expect Saturday to have the Molinuex supporters shouting out loud his name, for all the family who will be there.

“Carl is with us every day and he definitely is an inspiration for the boys. What matters is the whole squad.

“It’s all about the team and putting together different names with the same spirit. The strength of the wolf is in the pack.”

Ruben Neves was a shock signing for Wolves earlier this summer (Image: Twitter/Wolves)

Saturday’s clash with Boro is a sell-out and could see Molineux’s biggest crowd since 1981.

Excitement has grown since Santo, backed by the club’s wealthy Chinese owners Fosun and super-agent Jorge Mendes, signed 11 new players for £19million.

New £15m midfielder Ruben Neves from Porto and Atletico Madrid loanee Diogo Jota have both impressed in pre-season after playing for Santo previously.

Santo added: “They want to have new challenges in their lives.

“This is a new challenge for everybody. For those who were here, and those who came like me. Life is continually changing. This is what makes people better. I was not surprised by their arrival, I know them and I know they are going to help us.

“We are trying to improve every one, it doesn’t matter if he cost £10m, 15, 200, it is a player. There is always space to do something better.”

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