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Revealed: Why Watford goalkeeper Maduka Okoye was not included in the team on Monday

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Daniel Bachmann has won the race to start over Super Eagles goalkeeper Maduka Okoye for Watford this season
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Watford’s Sporting Director Cristiano Giarretta has hinted that Super Eagles star could still be left out of future matchday squad after missing the opening game of the season.

Okoye was left out of Watford’s squad that beat Sheffield United on Monday night in their opening game of the season.

The Nigerian international joined Watford this summer after signing a five-year last December. However, he was surprisingly not in the Hornets’ squad for their first league game of the season.

Although Watford manager Rob Edwards had revealed before the game that Okoye would have to play second fiddle to Ian Bachmann, it was a shocker not to see him on the bench.

The club’s Sporting Director has now come out to explain the reason for Okoye’s absence, adding that he could still miss out on future matchday squads.

Giarreta revealed Watford had to omit some players because there could not be more than 11 non-homegrown players in the matchday squad.

“The rule of 11 will have some influence for now, but we are all committed with Rob’s aim of having only 11 non-homegrown players in the first-team squad after the window, Giarreta said on Watford’s website, as per Watford Observer.

“It’s important we see August in a different way because things can still change until this month is over,” he added.

The latest development is a further blow to Okoye’s development. The 22-year-old joined Watford from Sparta Rotterdam with the aim of becoming the club’s number one. However, he lost the battle to Bachmann and could lose the backup spot to Ben Hammer, who was on the bench against Sheffield United on Monday night.

Okoye was not the only Nigerian left out of the squad. Samuel Kalu, a winter signing from Bordeaux, was also not in the squad.

However, Emmanuel Dennis played for 90 minutes while William Troost-Ekong was on the bench.


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