No Nigerian goalkeeper has ever put on the colours of the Netherlands giants, but Sparta’s young shot-stopper could be the first to rewrite the history books
Five-time Nigeria international Maduka Okoye is pleased to be attracting the interests of Eredivisie champions Ajax, but the youngster says he’s committed to Sparta Rotterdam.
Being linked to Ajax is a massive turnaround for Okoye, who until 2019 was starring in the German third division for Fortuna Dusseldorf’s reserve team.
But the 21-year-old’s turning point arrived when he was invited to the Nigerian national team, making his debut against former world champion Brazil in November 2019.
The Super Eagles goalkeeper then sealed a move to Sparta Rotterdam last year. Okoye served as the second-choice goalie at the start of the season before he grabbed his opportunity and has become the club’s number one for the most part.
The Super Eagles number one has made 20 Eredivisie appearances for Sparta, helping them stay comfortably away from relegation troubles.
Ajax are reportedly keeping tabs on Okoye after the German-born goalkeeper kept another clean sheet at the weekend in Sparta’s 2-0 victory over RKC Waalwijk.
But Okoye insists a transfer to Ajax is not on the horizon, even though he is okay with being linked to the Dutch champions.
“I haven’t heard anything yet; it’s mainly a rumour now,” Okoye told ESPN as per FCUpdate.
“It is nice to read that Ajax is interested. That means that I am performing well at Sparta. My focus is now on Sparta. At the moment, nothing is playing yet. We will see what will happen.”
Okoye is currently the Super Eagles’ first-choice goalkeeper and is expected to stay in goal when Nigeria take on the Benin Republic in an Afcon-qualifying match on March 27.