The Super Eagle goalkeeper played his first game for the Hornets but he could not stop the English third-tier side from claiming victory. Maduka Okoye made his much anticipated debut for Watford in Saturday’s 3-1 friendly defeat to Cambridge United at London Colney training ground. The goalie featured for the Hornets while his countrymen William Troost-Ekong, Samuel Kalu, and Emmanuel Dennis were injured. In a contest with four goals, Harvey Knibbs’ effort gave the English League One team the lead in the first half.
Nevertheless, the former Sparta Rotterdam player was subbed off by Austria international Daniel Bachmann at half-time. The Cote d’Ivoire forward also played his first match for the Vicarage Stadium giants, and he was unlucky not to have found the net. Rob Edwards’s men scored their only goal in the 68th minute through James Morris, but that could not stop them from going down. 22-year-old Okoye joined the Hornets from Sparta Rotterdam during the last transfer window, but he was loaned back to the Dutch side to end the season with them.
“I think in every player’s head is going back up to the Premier League. It’s important to have ambition,” the Nigeria international told Watford Observer when asked what Watford would want to achieve ahead of the new season. “On a personal level, I just want to help fulfil that ambition for the other players and the club. The more playing time the better, but most of all I want to see myself grow as a person and a goalkeeper. “If I can get playing time and improve then that is fantastic.”
Additionally, he stated that he watched every Watford game throughout the 2021–22 season in an effort to get to know the players before joining the team. Yes, I watched nearly every Watford game, he said, adding that he tried to view as much video footage as he could. Even though I hadn’t arrived yet, it was crucial for me to make an effort to engage with the team. At the end of the previous season, I did come over here for a little bit of treatment for a minor shoulder issue. I got to meet a few folks, and the club did a great job. When Watford plays Bolton Wanderers in their next preseason game on July 12, Okoye is anticipated to start in goal.