Troost-Ekong reveals the role he played in Watford signing Nigeria’s most expensive goalkeeper in history

Watford added another Super Eagles star to their growing Nigerian contingent this week, and Troost-Ekong has spoken of his delight to see his international teammate join the Hornets

William Troost-Ekong says he is pleased to welcome compatriot Maduka Okoye to Vicarage Road after the young goalkeeper completed a surprise move to Watford in midweek.

Troost-Ekong also shed more light on his relationship with Okoye, revealing the part he played behind the scene to ensure the 22-year-old chose the Hornets ahead of other clubs competing for his signature.

Watford on Tuesday confirmed the signing of Okoye from Sparta Rotterdam in a five-and-a-half-year which will start in January. The Nigerian international will, however, be loaned back to Sparta Rotterdam from January 1st until the end of the season.

According to reports, Watford paid around €7 million to sign the goalkeeper, making him the most expensive Nigerian shot-stopper in history.

Okoye will team up with a Watford side that already boasts a healthy Nigerian presence, including Super Eagles vice-captain Troost-Ekong, exciting forward Emmanuel Dennis, and dynamic midfielder Oghenekaro Etebo.

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However, Troost-Ekong probably did the most to guide Okoye in deciding for Watford ahead of other suitors.

“I’m delighted to see Maduka sign for Watford,” Troost-Ekong told Watford’s official website.

“I’ve been speaking to him for a while about the different options he’s had, and I knew the club were speaking to him, so it’s great that it’s over the line.

“We’ve spoken about playing in England before, and I had mentioned Watford. He’s a very humble kid, and he’s kept his cards close to his chest, but I did say if the chance came around he had to jump at it.

“He’s been part of the Nigeria team for the last two years or so now, and over that time, he’s made some fantastic steps. He moved to Holland from Germany, and it’s been incredible to see him take on the responsibility that comes with being a No.1.

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“He’s a very reliable goalkeeper with a huge will to learn, and I think he’ll add a lot of strengths to the squad when he links up with us next year.”

Okoye has made 43 appearances for Sparta since joining from Fortuna Dusseldorf in 2020. He has also earned 13 caps for the Super Eagles since making his debut just over two years ago.