Top 5 saves that earned Okoye Watford move


Super Eagles goalkeeper Maduka Okoye’s outstanding saves in the Dutch Eredivisie earned him a move to Premier League club Watford, PUNCH Sports Extra has reliably learnt.

The 22-year-old, who signed a five-and-a-half-year deal with the Hornets, will become the second Nigerian goalkeeper to feature in the Premier League after Carl Ikeme, should Watford avoid relegation at the end of the season.

The Nigerian is expected to join his new teammates next season as his new deal will begin on January 1, 2022 and runs until the end of the 2026-27 season.

Okoye, who is currently the 11th best goalkeeper in the Eredivisie, according to, has played every minute this season, but only kept his first clean sheet in the Eredivisie on Saturday, with Sparta Rotterdam 16th in the standings with 10 points after 12 games.

According to a Nigerian agent based in England, who was privy to the move, Okoye’s brilliant saves and good command of his goal area in the ongoing Eredivisie season earned him his record move to the Hornets.

“It was his performances for Sparta Rotterdam that earned him this move. His saves particularly, and his composure,” the agent said.

Below are the 22-year-old’s Top 5 saves that caught the eye of Watford officials:

Sparta vs Utrecht

Okoye was at his best right from the beginning of the season, as he parried a thunderous angled shot from Simon Gustafson on match-day one of their 4-0 loss to FC Utrecht on August 15. He also stopped Adrián Dalmau’s side-footed shot in the defeat.

Sparta vs PSV

The Nigerian denied PSV forward Ibrahim Sangare twice in their encounter against PSV on October 3 in their 2-1 loss away. The Nigerian stretched full length to parry Sangare’s looping header from the edge of the box and also saved a curling shot from the edge of the box from the Ivorian, who held his head in disbelief. The 22-year-old also saved a shot a close range one-on-one with his legs from Eran Zahavi in the encounter as well.

Sparta vs Ado Den Haag

The shot stopper made a brilliant save in the 69th minute, punching away a close range header from Vicente Besuijen off a corner kick. He also saved a free-kick in the game, before denying Marius van Mil, saving his back-heel from close range. The former Borussia Monchengladbach goalie also stopped Evan Rottier from scoring after he saved his tame effort.

Sparta vs Feyenoord

Okoye saved a goal-bound strike from Alireza Jahanbakhsh in the 51st minute of their clash with Feyenoord and then denied Orkun Kokcu a chance to score. He was, however, beaten from close range by his compatriot Cyriel Dessers in additional time.

Sparta vs Ajax

Ajax Brazilian winger Antony was amazingly denied twice from long range by Okoye in Sparta Rotterdam clash against the Amsterdam giants.

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