New Watford signing Okoye “overwhelmed” to play in Premier League
Super Eagles number one goalkeeper Maduka Okoye has expressed his delight at the prospect of playing in the Premier League after joining Watford.
The Hornets announced on Monday that the 22-year-old Nigerian had signed a five-and-a-half-year contract from Eredivisie club Sparta Rotterdam, but has been loaned back to the Dutch side until the end of the season.
Okoye, who has only kept one clean sheet in 13 appearances for Sparta this season, has taken to social media after sealing the move.
“I am overwhelmed to sign for Watford and to play in the Premier League is something I’ve been dreaming about since I was a little boy,” Okoye wrote on his Instagram page.
“I can’t wait to get started with the team upcoming season 2022-2023 season and I wish the club all the best for the rest of the season.
“See you soon.”
On unveiling the player, Watford said on their official website: “Watford is pleased to announce that it has reached agreement to sign highly-rated young goalkeeper Maduka Okoye, on a five-and-a-half-year deal that will begin on January 1, 2022.
“The Nigeria international joins the Hornets for an undisclosed fee from Eredivisie outfit Sparta Rotterdam, to where he will return on loan until the end of the 2021-22 campaign.
“A regular starter for the Dutch club, Okoye has lined up between the sticks in each of their games so far this season, while he has made 13 appearances for his country since debuting in a 1-1 draw with Brazil in 2019.
“The 6ft 6in shot-stopper’s consistent displays for both club and country have seen him linked with some of Europe’s biggest clubs, but he has now put pen to paper on a long-term deal with the Golden Boys.
“Welcome to Watford, Maduka!”
Okoye’s arrival at Vicarage Road will see him link up with other Nigerian players among them William Troost-Ekong, Emmanuel Dennis and Oghenekaro Etebo.
Senegal’s Ismaila Sarr, Morocco’s Adam Masina, and Cameroon’s Nicolas N’Koulou also form part of Watford’s large African contingent.
Okoye, who is in the Nigeria squad for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against Liberia and Cape Verde, began his career in Germany at Borussia Monchengladbach.
He also played for Bayer Leverkusen and Fortuna Dusseldorf before moving to Sparta Rotterdam in the summer of 2020.
Okoye won Sparta’s Player of the Season award in last season and helped his side finish an incredible eighth in the Dutch league.