Serie A side, Udinese have announced the signing of Nigerian-born Italy forward, Stefano Chuka Okaka, on loan from English Premier League club, Watford for the rest of the season.
Okaka joined Watford in 2016 from Anderlecht, but endured a difficult three seasons in the Hornets’ fold during which made 36 appearances and scored five goals.
Udinese tweeted on their official Twitter handle on Tuesday: “Today in training there is an extra Bianconero. Welcome Stefano #Okaka ! #ForzaUdinese #AleUdin”
Udinese Technical Director, said technical director , Daniele Prade, also told the club’s website: “Okaka – is strong physically, good at defending the ball and getting the team up. Stefano is strong in the air and inside the penalty area.”
The four-cap Italy international’s Watford career dipped further in the current season. He decided to seek game time elsewhere after making a misery two appearances as a substitute in the Premier League this season. The last of his five goals for Watford was scored in August 2017.
It can be recalled that Okaka, now 29, was offered opportunity by the Nigeria Football Federation for invitation to the Super Eagles ahead of the the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
He was distracted from switching his international allegiance to his parent’s country by a lure to represent his country of birth. He was later capped by Italy after the World Cup – on November 18 2014, in a friendly match against Albania
It’s a return to a familiar league for Okaka, having featured for Parma, Sampdoria and Roma earlier in his career.
And Udinese – owned by the Pozzo family, like Watford – will now have the 29-year-old available for the remainder of the 2018-19 campaign as they battle to avoid relegation.
The striker’s debut for Udinese, who are 15th in the table, could come against one of his former clubs, with Parma visiting Davide Nicola’s side on January 19.