Nigeria have been handed a major boost ahead of the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, as first-choice goalkeeper Maduka Okoye returned to action in Sparta Rotterdam’s match against Vitesse on Saturday.
The German-born Nigerian shot-stopper played the entire duration for the Castle Lords, but conceded twice as the game ended 2-2.
Prior to the setback, Okoye was a regular starter in Hendrikus Fraser’s team and for the Super Eagles where he played in all but one of their matches in the second round of the 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
The 22-year-old’s return puts Nigeria in good shape ahead of the commencement of AFCON 2021 where they have been placed in Group D against Egypt, Guinea-Bissau and Sudan.
In November, Premier League club Watford confirmed that they have signed Okoye on a five-and-a-half-year deal for an undisclosed fee. He is expected to move to Vicarage Road formally in January but will spend the remainder of the 2021-22 season on loan at Sparta Rotterdam.
The 2021 AFCON which will be staged in Cameroon will run from January 9th to February 6th 2021 amid rumours that it could be further delayed due to the increasing spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19.