Troost-Ekong opens up on 'hardest choice' of his career

Troost-Ekong opens up on 'hardest choice' of his career
Watford's William Troost-Ekong

by Staff Reporter

Friday Feb 03, 2023. 17:00

New Salernitana signing William Troost-Ekong has revealed his left Watford during the January transfer window after feeling undervalued at the Championship club in recent months.

The Nigeria international joined the Hornets on a five-year contract from Udinese in September 2020 and helped them win promotion to the Premier League in his debut season.

However, the Hertfordshire outfit made an immediate return to the second tier after finishing 15 points adrift of safety in 19th place, with Troost-Ekong featuring just 17 times in the league.

The 29-year-old centre-back was a regular starter under former manager Rob Edwards and his replacement, Slaven Bilic, initially during the current campaign but has had limited opportunities since the World Cup break.

Speaking about his decision to head back to Italy, Troost-Ekong told The Athletic: “This was the hardest choice I’ve had to make in my career.

“Every time I’ve had a great opportunity to go to a club, which was a progression in my career, it’s always been a no-brainer. But it was a difficult choice because I really feel invested at Watford and I wanted to be part of the squad again to get promoted – I know what that felt like.

“At the end of last season, having not really featured for the second half of the season, it was a conversation I had with the club about what I wanted to do. They were always very good on it and expressed that they wanted me to stay and I fought my way back into the team.

“I was enjoying my football initially under Rob Edwards and in games under Slaven Bilic up to the World Cup break. Then I came back from the World Cup break in and out the team. I wasn’t 100 per cent sure about why that happened, but that’s football.

“So then you start wondering again about what else is possible and there were different clubs sniffing. We got to January and it wasn’t necessarily in the plan but when I heard about the interest and the chance to come back to Italy to a club that’s ambitious and with a very good squad … I saw it as a great opportunity to play football again.

“I was ready for a new challenge. I also felt slightly undervalued at Watford and then you have to make a decision about your career.”

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