The lid has been thrown off reasons behind the decision by the technical crew and management of Sparta Rotterdam of Netherlands to grant Super Eagles’ goalkeeper, Emil Maduka Okoye a contract extension with the Dutch Eredivisie side, megasportsaena.com reports.
In the wake of the club’s confirmation of Okoye’s new deal, Sparta’s technical director, Henk van Stee disclosed that it was based on the tall star’s statistics last season, his efforts in helping the team end well on the log and that he is now Nigeria’s number one shot-stopper.
Van Stee added that more is now expected on the 21-year-old former Fortuna Düsseldorf of Germany shot-stopper, whose extended deal with Rotterdam will now run until 2025, into which great expectations are already flying ahead of him, after a superb first season with the team.
Dutch League data show that Okoye has indeed established himself as first choice in goal at Sparta, with 10 clean sheets in 28 appearances, thereby belying the fact that he did not cost a dime when he was signed from his hometown club, Dusseldorf.
Van Stee has now admitted that Okoye proved to be worth more than was initially thought, hence the new deal became easy to seal, while also adding: “A year ago we hired Maduka, because we thought he was a great talent.
“Last season he proved us right. With ten 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. 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.”
Okoye stated in his response: “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.
“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.”