Super Eagles Stopper, Maduka Okoye Joins Udinese On A Permanent Deal

Super Eagles goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye has joined Serie A club, Udinese on a permanent transfer with the goalkeeper putting pen to paper on a four-year deal.

Okoye joined the Zebras from Sky Bet Championship club, Watford.

The 23-year-old spent one season at Watford following his arrival from Eredivisie side, Sparta Rotterdam last summer.

Maduka endured a torrid time at Vicarage Road, making just two appearances throughout the entire campaign.

Udinese confirmed his signing from Watford via an official statement on their website on Thursday and said Okoye’s contract runs until 30 June 2027.

As a goalkeeper with a real physical presence and impressive technique, Okoye already has international experience with Nigeria under his belt as well as playing time in the Championship and the Eredivisie, the Serie A club wrote.

Okoye was born in Dusseldorf, Germany into a Nigerian family on 28 August 1999, going on to join the Bayer Leverkusen youth ranks, where he stayed until he made the move to Fortuna Dusseldorf in 2017.

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His debut season with the club saw him make 13 appearances for the under-19s and five for the second tier in the fourth tier of the German football pyramid.

The following year, he became a stable part of the second team, featuring in 15 matches and training with the first team on a regular basis.

In 2019/20, his 14 appearances for Fortuna’s second team earned him a move to Eredivisie side Sparta Rotterdam, where he played 29 games in all competitions in 2020/21, before going up to 31 matches the following season.

Watford then swooped for the goalkeeper where he spent the 2022/23 campaign. Okoye has 16 senior Nigeria caps to his name, with his debut coming back in 2019 in a friendly against Brazil.

“The shot-stopper is set to wear the number 40 jersey for Udinese. Welcome to the club, Maduka!,” Udinese wrote on its official website.

Watford also took to their website to confirm the permanent departure of Okoye to Udinese.

“The 23-year-old initially signed for the Hornets in January 2022 before joining up with the squad ahead of the 2022/23 season,” Watford wrote.

A senior Nigeria international, Okoye featured twice for Watford last season, starting a match apiece in the Carabao Cup and Emirates FA Cup.

The Nigerian goalkeeper has struggled to get minutes since he moved to England last year but he can now revive his football career ahead of the 2024 African Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast.

Okoye has not been included in Watford’s matchday squad this season.

He will play alongside fellow Nigerians Isaac Success and Kingsley Ehizibue at the Dacia Arena.


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