Super Eagles goalkeeper Maduka Okoye was in goal for Sparta Rotterdam who thrashed ADO Den Haag 6-0 in the Eredivisie on Sunday.
The confidence reposed on the goalkeeping attributes of Super Eagles’ number one goalkeeper, Maduka Okoye, has been proven right at the club level after he was included in the Eredivisie team of the just-concluded season, in a class of standout players over the course of the 2020/2021 campaign.
The remarkable accomplishment is made all the more impressive when placed in the context of the fact that it was the Nigerian keeper’s first season in the Netherlands and his debut season playing top-flight football in his career.
Before the season began, Dutch side Sparta Rotterdam made the move for the goalkeeper, bringing him from Fortuna Dusseldorf II in July last year but confined him on the bench in the early stages of the season, with the full range of his capacity not really apparent.
With time, he was able to earn the trust of manager Henk Fraser, who made him the team’s undisputed number one even as the Super Eagles coach, Gernot Rohr also began to rely on him for international matches.
Okoye featured in 28 league matches for Sparta and helped the team secure a Europa League playoff place by the end of his first full season, while averaging 2.6 saves per game.
The 21-year-old also kept ten clean sheets on the way to having his performances earn him a league-wide selection ahead of other established goalkeepers in the division.
Reported interests from Eredivisie top clubs, including giants Ajax, might mean that Okoye may not be staying at Sparta for a long time, especially because of his talents.