Without a shadow of a doubt, Super Eagles third choice goalkeeper Maduka Okoye will be scheming to make himself number one between the sticks for his new club Sparta Rotterdam in the Dutch Eravidisie.
On 13 July, the cat was out of the bag; 21 year old German born Okoye was unveiled as the latest acquisition of the ambitious mid table club who have been bolstering their squad in recent weeks as they push to better their league position next season.
They ended the last campaign at 11th place on the 18 team league table.
Lennart Thy (PEC Zwolle), Michael Heylen (FC Emmen), Reda Kharchouch (Telstar) and Danzell Gravenberch (FC Dordrecht) have all arrived recently and now, our very own Okoye is the newest kid on the Rotterdam block.
“It’s a good opportunity to take my career to the next level. Now I am ready for the big stage, " expressed a delighted Okoye who has a realistic opportunity to stake a claim as the number 1 goalkeeper for the club next season (in my humble opinion).
29 year old Dutch-man Tim Coremans who started last season as the first choice goalkeeper only lasted ten games before being relegated to the bench and now out of action due to a torn knee ligament injury (which is expected to keep him out until until March 2021).
Isreal Goalkeeper 32 year old Ariel Harush who saw out the rest of last season has already been cut loose by the club which means Okoye's main competition for the numero uno slot is a fellow newcomer by the name Benjamin Van Leer.
The 28 year old Holland born Indonesia International had previously been on the books of Ajax and Roda JC before joining Rotterdam a few weeks ago. Although more experienced than Okoye in age and football exposure, I want to believe that strong showings in training sessions and friendly matches might tip the scale in favour of the Nigeria international ahead of his Indonesia counterpart.
If this happens, it will be a remarkable turnaround for a player who left the ghetto of lower league football just last season to the leafy affluent neighbourhood of the elite level of the game.
And like he said, he had better be ready for the big stage; it might come sooner than he expects!