Nigerian center-back hopes to play an important role for Watford as he pursues instant Premier League return
It always feels like it’s hard to prepare at Watford given their tendency to dump head coaches at will, and this is a pressure cooker that William Troost-Ekong finds himself in after leaving Udinese (the Serie A club under the ownership of the Pozzo family).
Managerial precariousness has already seen Vladimir Ivic lose his job, with Xisco Munoz replacing the Serbian in December.
Knowing how quickly Hertfordshire’s top brass are changing managers, don’t be surprised to see the Nigerian captain playing under a third manager in 2021!
Troost-Ekong: The Story of 2020
While many questioned the logic of Udinese, an Italian elite side, to the Championship club Watford, the decision could be justified by realizing that the center-back, more or less, has started 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 defense – at least by goals conceded – in the bottom half of Serie A and finished the season at a Respectable 13th place. .
For a bit of background: 51 goals conceded, it is three less than Atalanta in third, like Roma in fifth, five less than 46 of AC Milan and only one less than Napoli, seventh.
When you take into consideration that Udinese left that final tally despite a 7-1 hammering from Atalanta – a beating Troost-Ekong played – their “feat” probably wins even more applause .
In truth, even if this obliteration by Gian Piero Gasperini’s team occurred at the end of October 2019, it would be remiss not to mention this loss, as well as the 4-0 loss to Roma the following week, when assessing of the Super Eagle 2019/20 season due to the club’s subsequent response to terminate Igor Tudor’s contract and appoint Luca Gotti.
Whites and Blacks, overall, tightened for the rest of the season – evidenced by the fact that their biggest loss for the rest of the league season (3-0 to Lazio) came in November. in the early weeks of Gotti’s reign.
Troost-Ekong has been a firm contributor to Udinese’s defensive steel, although he was shot 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 highlight of the first half of the year being the 2-1 win over Juventus in July.
Being closer to his family is obviously the biggest merit of returning to England with Watford, but the 27-year-old can help continue the Hornets’ efforts to secure immediate promotion to the Premier League after last season’s relegation.
Troost-Ekong have played 12 league games since moving, ending on the losing side just three times as the Hertfordshire side sit fifth in the table with 37 points, only two adrift from Swansea City in second .
Even though the head coach has been changed and the defender missed the club’s last game of the year – a 1-0 win over leaders Norwich City – the center-back should look forward to the new year.
Troost-Ekong: Transfer rumors?
None… yet. Due to the high turnover of players at Watford and Udinese, it won’t be surprising to see Troost-Ekong return to the Italian side or leave the Hornets in 2021.
Troost-Ekong: great hope for 2021
Probably to play a big part in Watford’s promotion quest. From a Nigerian perspective, supporters of the West African nation will love seeing the country’s top center-back in the world’s most-watched league week after week.
Troost-Ekong: a great fear for 2021
Injuries. He has already missed Xisco’s first game at the helm against Norwich and is likely to catch up by trying to impress the already pressured head coach at the helm.
Although family reasons were a primary factor when returning to England, playing games will make him more fulfilling for the center-back.
As for Watford, missing a return to the PL will impact their finances but also reduce Troost-Ekong’s chances of playing in the top flight.