Maduka Okoye is 19. He is one of the goalkeepers of German side, Fortuna Dusseldorf. He is one of the goalkeepers invited for the game against Ukraine. In the perking order at his club, he is placed fourth but has prospect to become No. 1 according to experts of the Bundesliga…This suggests that as fourth choice in the perking order in Super Eagles behind the trio of Francis Uzoho, Ikechukwu Ezenwa and Daniel Akpeyi, he may also leap to third or second choice….If not first choice.
It was easy for Gernot Rohr and his scouts to fish Okoye out since the Super Eagles coach has German roots. More so, the technical crew of the Super Eagles may have concluded that Akpeyi who was handed first choice gloves in Egypt 2019 AFCON did not live upto expectation and needed to be dropped hence the surprise call up of young Okoye.
But critics opine that this was the same way Francis Uzoho emerged from Deportivo La Coruna where he was fourth choice goalkeeper…..He got into Super Eagles on Rohr’s invitation….was picked as first choice at Russia 2018 World Cup but did not live upto expectation.
That could have landed him in Cyprus instead of rising his profile to move in the perking order to second or third choice goalkeeper in his former La Liga top side Deportivo La Coruna.
Uzoho went to Egypt 2019 AFCON as third choice goalkeeper. Critics argue that Okoye could be another of Rohr’s endless experiment ever since Vincent Enyeama left unceremoniously….and Carl Ikpeme got struck by cancer of the blood.
Supporters of Rohr say experiment is part of the job….and the Ukraine friendly will give Okoye a chance to prove himself to help fix this department which is giving Rohr and his crew nightmare and grayhairs.
All eyes are now on Ukraine to see how this 19-year old will respond to this surprise invitation that has naturally boosted his career.
Will Maduka Okoye be the busstop to Rohr’s continuous search for goalkeepers? We wait to see….