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Super Eagles goalkeeper, Okoye signs long-term contract at Sparta Rotterdam

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Maduka Okoye, a goalkeeper from Nigeria, has signed a new deal with Sparta Rotterdam, which will keep him at the Eredivisie side until 2025.

Following the expiration of his contract at Fortuna Dusseldorf, where he developed his game over three years, Okoye moved to Rotterdam on a free transfer a year ago.

The 21-year-old initially played two games for the reserve team in the Tweede Divisie before he broke into Henk Fraser’s team, and he has established himself as the team’s first-choice goalkeeper since then.

Okoye capped his debut season in the Dutch top-flight with impressive performances between the sticks and he was rewarded as Sparta Rotterdam’s Player of the Season for the 2020-21 campaign.

Following his commitment to the Sparta Stadion outfit on Wednesday, the Super Eagles shot-stopper disclosed he was able to achieve last season’s targets which include becoming Nigeria’s no. 1 goalkeeper.

“When I signed with Sparta, I did so with clear goals. I wanted to develop further and become the first goalkeeper in the Eredivisie and for the Super Eagles,” Okoye told the club’s website.

“So after the first season I can’t help but be satisfied, but I’m certainly not done here yet. I really enjoy my time at Sparta and I feel appreciated by my teammates and the supporters. In my first year, I have already experienced many beautiful moments here, I hope that next season, at a full Castle, we will add even more moments.”

After their pre-season-friendly game against Willem II on Saturday, Sparta Rotterdam will begin their 2021-22 season with an Eredivisie trip to Utrecht on August 15.

Meanwhile, the club’s technical director Henk van Stee hinted the new deal is an effort to fend off transfer interest in Okoye.

“Last season he proved us right. With 10 clean sheets in 28 games, he contributed to the club’s eighth-place finish and was even voted Player of the Season by the supporters,” Van Stee said.

“He made great strides last season, he is also the first goalkeeper of the Nigerian national team. Obviously, this meant there was a lot of interest in him, but we both had the intention to continue longer and are very happy that we are extending his contract.”

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