Morocco v Portugal: Quarter Final - FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022
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Carl Ikeme says Wolves miss 'leader' Romain Saiss

Former Wolves goalkeeper Carl Ikeme has said the club are missing Romain Saiss and his ‘gritty character’.

Wanderers have struggled at the back this season.

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Nathan Collins and Maximilian Kilman made a pretty good start. But standards have slipped in recent weeks.

Wolves have been looking vulnerable, and new head coach Julen Lopetegui has got to tighten things up again in order for the team to have a better chance of taking points in games.

Wolves took a huge risk in the summer.

A number of experienced players left, including Saiss who has since criticised the board and suggested they made a disrespectful contract offer to him.

The star left as a free agent and then joined Besiktas.

Wolves’ decision not to make a better offer is looking increasingly questionable, with Saiss absolutely shining for Morocco at the World Cup.

He’s been one of the best defenders at the tournament so far, and now has the biggest game of his life – a semi-final against France – coming up tomorrow night.

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Hopefully he will be fit to play, because he went off injured in the last game against Portugal.

Saiss was trying to battle on though his injury before going off on a stretcher, and that is something that will not surprise Wolves fans.

He is a real warrior, and Ikeme believes Wanderers are worse off without him.

He told The Athletic: “It’s important to have a good dynamic and I think he’s probably someone that is even still missed at the club.

“I’m sure we’ve missed him at Wolves quite a bit because he has got that gritty character to really get you through games. He is a leader like Conor Coady was and Ruben Neves is and there was no doubt in my mind from early on, even though we were in the Championship, that he could play in the Premier League.

“I remember a game away at Middlesbrough when he nearly collapsed at the end because he’d put such a shift in.”

Wolves undoubtedly miss Romain Saiss, as defender laps up praise for World Cup showings for Morocco

There is no doubt that Wolves’ dressing room is worse off without Saiss.

It is so important for clubs to have a good blend of talented players and characters.

Saiss was known for being a big personality and a leader. But he was actually also quite underrated as a player.

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Yes, he had a mistake in him. But he was always someone who would battle hard for the badge. He’d leave it all out there.

Wolves should have done more to keep him at the club. Former manager Bruno Lage wanted him to stay, but perhaps he could have push harder.