English Premier League club, Watford have announced the signing of Nigerian goalkeeper Maduka Okoye on a five-and-a-half-year deal from Eredivisie club, Sparta Rotterdam.
The Nigerian international will complete the switch in the January transfer window but will return to Rotterdam on loan for the rest of the 2021-22 season.
The 22-year-old has established himself in Hendrikus Fraser’s team since he joined the club from German club Fortuna Dusseldorf on a free transfer in July 2020.
Following an impressive debut campaign, Okoye was honoured as 2020-21 Sparta Rotterdam’s Player of the Season and has already played every minute of their league games so far this season.
Watford already boast a host of African stars including Nigeria’s William Troost-Ekong, Emmanuel Dennis and Oghenekaro Etebo alongside Senegal’s Ismaila Sarr, Morocco’s Adam Masina and Cameroon’s Nicolas N’Koulou.
“Watford FC 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!” read a statement on the club’s website.
Okoye is among the 24 players invited for Nigeria’s 2022 Fifa World Cup qualifiers against Liberia and Cape Verde Islands on November 13 and 16, respectively.