Maduka Okoye makes Super Eagles case with POTM award

Maduka Okoye makes Super Eagles case with POTM award
Photo by Icon Sport

The calls for Maduka Okoye to return to the Super Eagles are getting louder, and the Udinese goalkeeper is making any reason to be left out a more difficult decision.

Following the debate over who should man the pots for the Super Eagles ahead of AFCON 2023, Maduka Okoye has thrown himself back into the discussion.

The return to form of Maduka Okoye is massive news for the Super Eagles fans.

With the World Cup qualifiers on the cards, they pray that it continues to give Stanley Nwabali competition for the position of number one.

Recently, Maduka Okoye was voted Udinese's Player of February. The achievement has psyched up his fans and given voice to their calls to make him the Super Eagles' number one.

Maduka Okoye wins Udinese Player of February

Maduka Okoye in action for Udinese
Photo by Icon Sport

The last few years have been tumultuous for Maduka Okoye. There were high expectations for the young Nigerian when he left Watford for Udinese.

The 24-year-old has returned to form, and it has won him the club's Player of the Month.

Winning the award is impressive, considering that the German-born Nigerian goalkeeper has been out of action for a lengthy period.

After joining the Serie A side in August 2023, Maduka Okoye has been on the sidelines and played his first game for Udinese in December. It was a memorable occasion as he kept his first clean sheet for the club in a 3-0 defeat of Bologna.

In February 2024, Maduka Okoye was between the sticks for I Friulani in all four games as the Black and Whites won one, drew two and lost one.

He kept two clean sheets, including the 0-1 away win over Juventus. He was instrumental in the win over La Vecchia Signora, making several saves.

Hopefully, the former Sparta Rotterdam goalkeeper will continue his club rise to become a mainstay and keep Marco Silvestri.

The move to Watford was a nightmare for Maduka Okoye

Maduka Okoye for Sparta Rotterdam
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Maduka Okoye was phenomenal for Sparta Rotterdam and received several offers from clubs around Europe. The Nigerian goalkeeper chose Watford because he believed it would help his football growth.

The move saw his fortunes nosedive following the move to England as things didn't pan out well for him. He returned the Eredivisie on loan to Sparta, where he featured just 13 times.

When he returned to Watford, the Championship side decided to sell him, with Udinese the only club willing to take him for an undisclosed fee.

Should Maduka Okoye return to the Super Eagles?

Maduka Okoye for Super Eagles
Photo by Icon Sport

Maduka Okoye has had a short stint with the Super Eagles.

On 14 August 2019, former Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr invited the Udinese goalkeeper for a friendly against Ukraine. He was on the bench for that game in September 2019.

Maduka Okoye made his international debut for the Super Eagles in a friendly match against Brazil, ending 1–1 in October 2019. He was a 63rd-minute sub for an injured Francis Uzoho

Maduka Okoye has 16 appearances for the Super Eagles but pulled out of international commitments following the barrage that trailed Nigeria's ouster from AFCON 2019.

He has indicated a willingness to return to the Super Eagles. Following his recent good form, it will be good competition for the other goalkeepers in the team.

Whoever takes the reins as the new Super Eagles coach should extend an invite to the Udinese goalkeeper.

This article was most recently revised and updated 4 weeks ago

Chooka Izuegbuna is a Sports Journalist with 20 years of experience in print, TV and Radio. He has worked with some of the top media houses in Nigeria, including NTA Network, Channels TV, TVC, Silverbird TV and MITV. Chooka broke his sports reporting teeth with The Game Football Weekly in 2003 as a cartoonist and reporter.