Okoye makes losing debut for Watford against Cambridge United

Watford sign Maduka Okoye.Watford.

Maduka Okoye made his long-awaited debut for Watford in Saturday’s 3-1 friendly defeat to Cambridge United at London Colney training ground.

With his compatriots William Troost-Ekong, Samuel Kalu and Emmanuel Dennis left out of action, the goalkeeper was in action for the Hornets.

In a game that produced four goals, the English League One side scored the first goal of the first half thanks to Harvey Knibbs’ effort.

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.”

He also claimed that he watched every Watford game during the 2021-22 campaign in a bid to connect with the players ahead of his switch to the club.

“Yes, I saw almost every Watford game, trying to watch as much video footage as possible,” he continued.

“It was important for me to try and connect with the team even though I hadn’t arrived.

“I did also come over here for a little bit of treatment on a small shoulder problem towards the end of last season. The club did a fantastic job and I was able to meet a few people.”

Okoye is expected to be in goal when Watford take on Bolton Wanderers in their next pre-season outing on July 12.