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William's troost-ekong what to expect in 2021

  • 27 November, 2020
  • by Admin
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AFRICAN ALL STARS FEATURES & OPINIONS CHAMPIONSHIP WATFORD OPINION

The Nigeria centre-back will hope to play a huge part for Watford as they chase an instant return to the Premier League

It always feels like there’s trouble brewing at Watford given their tendency to jettison head coaches at will, and it’s a pressure cooker William Troost-Ekong finds himself in after moving from Udinese (the Serie A club under the ownership of the Pozzo family).

The managerial precariousness has already seen Vladimir Ivic lose his job, with Xisco Munoz replacing the Serbian in December.

Knowing how quickly the higher-ups in Hertfordshire switch the men in charge, don’t be surprised to see Nigeria’s captain playing under a third manager in 2021!

Troost-Ekong: The story of 2020


While many questioned the logic in moving from Udinese, a team in the Italian top flight, to Championship club Watford, the decision could be justified upon the realisation that the centre-back, more or less, began his career in England and had his family based in Hertfordshire all this time.

Given the revelation, it was hard to argue with Troost-Ekong’s choice to leave a club that had by far the best defence — going by goals conceded, at least — in the bottom half of Serie A and ended the season in a respectable 13th spot.

For a bit of context: 51 goals conceded was three lower than Atalanta in third, same as Roma in fifth, five shy of AC Milan’s 46 and only one lesser than seventh-placed Napoli.

When taken into consideration that Udinese let in that eventual tally despite suffering a 7-1 hammering at the hands of Atalanta — a thrashing Troost-Ekong played in — their ‘achievement’ probably earns even more plaudits.

In truth, even though that obliteration by Gian Piero Gasperini’s team came in late October 2019, it’ll be remiss not to mention that defeat, as well as the 4-0 loss against Roma the following week, when assessing the Super Eagle’s 2019/20 season due to the subsequent response by the club to terminate Igor Tudor’s contract and appoint Luca Gotti.

The White and Blacks, by and large, tightened up for the remainder of the season — evidenced by the fact their heaviest defeat for the remainder of the league season (3-0 vs Lazio) came in November in the early weeks of Gotti’s reign.

Troost-Ekong was a firm contributor to the defensive steel of Udinese, even though he was rotated in and out of the side after the lockdown.

Still, the Nigeria international started 29 games in his second year at the club, with the biggest moment in the first half of the year coming in that 2-1 win over Juventus in July.

Being closer to his family is obviously the biggest merit in returning to England with Watford, still, the 27-year-old can help to continue the Hornets’ push to secure immediate promotion to the Premier League after last season’s relegation from the big time.

Troost-Ekong has featured in 12 league games since moving, ending on the losing side on only three occasions as the Hertfordshire outfit lie fifth in the table on 37 points, only two adrift of Swansea City in second.

Even though the head coach has been changed and the defender missed the club’s final game of the year — a 1-0 win over leaders Norwich City — the central defender ought to look forward to the New Year.

Troost-Ekong: Any transfer rumours?

None...for now. Due to the high turnover of players at Watford and Udinese, it won’t be much of a surprise to see Troost-Ekong either return to the Italian side or leave the Hornets in 2021.

Troost-Ekong: One big hope for 2021


Surely to play a big part in Watford’s promotion quest. From a Nigerian perspective, supporters of the West African nation will love to see the nation’s top centre-back in the world’s most-watched league week in week out.

Troost-Ekong: One big fear for 2021


Injuries. He’s already missed Xisco’s first game in charge vs Norwich and risks playing catch-up in trying to impress the already under-pressure head coach at the helm.

While family reasons was a primary factor in returning to England, playing games will make it more fulfilling for the centre-back.

As for Watford, missing out on a return to the PL will impact their finances but also reduce the prospects of Troost-Ekong playing in the top flight.



The White and Blacks, by and large, tightened up for the remainder of the season — evidenced by the fact their heaviest defeat for the remainder of the league season (3-0 vs Lazio) came in November in the early weeks of Gotti’s reign.


Troost-Ekong was a firm contributor to the defensive steel of Udinese, even though he was rotated in and out of the side after the lockdown.


Still, the Nigeria international started 29 games in his second year at the club, with the biggest moment in the first half of the year coming in that 2-1 win over Juventus in July.


Being closer to his family is obviously the biggest merit in returning to England with Watford, still, the 27-year-old can help to continue the Hornets’ push to secure immediate promotion to the Premier League after last season’s relegation from the big time.


Troost-Ekong has featured in 12 league games since moving, ending on the losing side on only three occasions as the Hertfordshire outfit lie fifth in the table on 37 points, only two adrift of Swansea City in second.


Even though the head coach has been changed and the defender missed the club’s final game of the year — a 1-0 win over leaders Norwich City — the central defender ought to look forward to the New Year.

Troost-Ekong: Any transfer rumours?

None...for now. Due to the high turnover of players at Watford and Udinese, it won’t be much of a surprise to see Troost-Ekong either return to the Italian side or leave the Hornets in 2021.

Troost-Ekong: One big hope for 2021

Surely to play a big part in Watford’s promotion quest. From a Nigerian perspective, supporters of the West African nation will love to see the nation’s top centre-back in the world’s most-watched league week in week out.

Troost-Ekong: One big fear for 2021

Injuries. He’s already missed Xisco’s first game in charge vs Norwich and risks playing catch-up in trying to impress the already under-pressure head coach at the helm.

While family reasons was a primary factor in returning to England, playing games will make it more fulfilling for the centre-back.

As for Watford, missing out on a return to the PL will impact their finances but also reduce the prospects of Troost-Ekong playing in the top flight.


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