Chiefs completed a last-minute swoop on Akpeyi from Chippa United on the eve of transfer deadline day, following their 0-1 Absa Premiership defeat to Cape Town City last Wednesday.
The Nigerian shotstopper has effectively replaced the injured Itumeleng Khune, who is set to return at the end of the season and penned a deal until the end of the 2019/20 season.
The 32-year-old himself has conceded that the move came “out of the blue”, but Middendorp has since provided some insight into their decision.
“Akpeyi is calm and has a physical presence. He communicates well with his defensive line and is good in dictating tactics at the back,” the German told his club’s official website.
The Super Eagles shot-stopper has managed 36 clean sheets in 104 appearances across all competitions since his arrival in the PSL back in July 2015.
He was also the only PSL representative to have been part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, though he played no part in Nigeria’s matches prior to their exit at the group stage.
Akpeyi, however, still has ambitions to compete in CAF club competitions and believes Amakhosi are capable of providing such a platform for him.
“That’s one thing I was looking forward to doing in South Africa – playing in the Champions League,” he was quoted as having said on Chiefs’ website.
“Chiefs have the will and the quality to do well in Africa and I would like to contribute to do that.”
The stocky gloveman is set to compete with Namibian international Virgil Vries as well as Chiefs youth graduates Bruce Bvuma and Brylon Petersen for a spot in Middendorp’s team, beginning with this weekend’s all-important Soweto Derby.
“It’s one of the most famous derbies in the world. Just to be part of that experience will be something fantastic, independent of if I play or not,” he remarked.