William Troost-Ekong’s AFCON displays spark interest from Saudi clubs

William Troost-Ekong’s AFCON displays spark interest from Saudi clubs
Credit: Icon Sport

The Saudi Arabian Professional League is abuzz with rumors as several clubs express strong interest in acquiring the services of Nigerian defender William Troost-Ekong ahead of the summer transfer window.

The revelation comes from renowned Italian transfer market expert, Fabrizio Romano, who cited Troost-Ekong's stellar performances as the catalyst for the sudden surge in interest.

Romano, in a statement made on Friday, highlighted the impact of Troost-Ekong's displays for the Nigerian national team during the 2023 African Cup of Nations (AFCON).

“Nigeria captain William Troost-Ekong caught the attention of clubs in Saudi due to his impressive performances in the AFCON,” he stated.

“He’s been leading PAOK to top of Greek Super League and Europe Conference League, he’s very happy there — but the Saudi interest for summer is strong.”

The defender's leadership and standout performances have not gone unnoticed, particularly by clubs in Saudi Arabia who see him as a valuable addition to their squads.

Troost-Ekong's contributions were pivotal in Nigeria's journey to the final of the 2023 AFCON, notably in the thrilling semi-final encounter against South Africa.

The defender showcased his composure and skill, converting a crucial penalty to give Nigeria the lead in the 67th minute.

His defensive prowess was also on full display as he demonstrated aerial dominance and won numerous long balls against the formidable Bafana Bafana.

Despite receiving a yellow card in the 120th minute of the match, Troost-Ekong's overall performance left a lasting impression.

His ability to read the game, lead the defense, and contribute offensively from set-pieces has undoubtedly caught the attention of clubs seeking to bolster their squads.

Currently plying his trade with PAOK Thessaloniki in the Greek Super League and Europe Conference League, Troost-Ekong has proven himself as a reliable and accomplished central defender.

While he remains content at PAOK, the allure of a potential move to Saudi Arabia has stirred speculation about his future in the upcoming transfer window.

As the summer approaches, football enthusiasts eagerly await further developments regarding William Troost-Ekong's potential transfer.

Will he remain with PAOK or embark on a new chapter in his career with a move to the Saudi Professional League? Only time will tell as the transfer saga unfolds in the coming months.

Captain William Troost-Ekong eager for AFCON trophy triumph

Super Eagles beat South Africa
Photo by Icon Sport

Nigeria's captain, William Troost-Ekong, is relishing the prospect of lifting the Africa Cup of Nations trophy, describing it as an “amazing” moment for both himself and the country.

The Super Eagles secured their place in the final after a thrilling victory over South Africa on penalties, setting up a showdown against tournament hosts Ivory Coast.

For Troost-Ekong and Nigeria, reaching the final represents a significant milestone, marking their first appearance in the title decider since 2013 when they clinched their third continental title.

The centre-back expressed his excitement about the opportunity, emphasizing the significance of the moment.

“Dreams about moments like that,” Troost-Ekong shared.

“I've seen it so many times. And I've closed my eyes. To actually be there on Sunday and have the chance to do that will be amazing.”

Nigeria's journey to the final has been remarkable, especially considering their underdog status before the tournament began.

Despite a lacklustre start to their World Cup qualifying campaign and their position as the sixth-best team in Africa according to FIFA's world rankings, the Super Eagles have defied expectations at AFCON 2023.

The team's resurgence saw them emerge as the top-ranked side at the tournament following the exits of powerhouse teams like Senegal, Morocco, and Egypt.

Nigeria's impressive run has captured the imagination of football fans worldwide, showcasing their resilience and determination on the grandest stage of African football.

As the Super Eagles prepare to face Ivory Coast in the final, anticipation is building among fans eager to witness a potential crowning moment for William Troost-Ekong and his teammates.

With the prospect of AFCON glory within reach, Nigeria stands on the brink of writing another memorable chapter in their footballing history.

William Troost-Ekong determined to overcome injury for AFCON final

William troost-ekong
Photo by Icon Sport

William Troost-Ekong, has voiced his determination to overcome injury obstacles and be available for selection in Sunday's Africa Cup of Nations final.

The 30-year-old defender has been battling with injury concerns since the Ivory Coast game in the group stage.

Despite the challenges, Troost-Ekong emphasized the importance of the final and his unwavering commitment to representing Nigeria on the pitch.

“I think I have been struggling with injury since the Ivory Coast game, and this is the moment I don't want to miss. Even if it remains one leg for me, I will play,” Troost-Ekong affirmed.

While acknowledging that the final selection ultimately rests with the coach, he expressed his determination to ensure he is in the best possible condition for the crucial match.

Troost-Ekong's dedication to the team's cause reflects his understanding of the significance of the final showdown.

As the pinnacle of African football, the AFCON final holds immense importance for every player, and Troost-Ekong is keenly aware of the opportunity it presents.

Meanwhile, reflecting on the team's hard-fought victory against South Africa in the semi-finals, Troost-Ekong expressed pride in the Super Eagles' performance and emphasized their unity and resilience.

Despite facing a formidable opponent in South Africa, the Nigerian team emerged victorious after a tense penalty shootout, showcasing their determination and character.

“I feel happy, and we are very close to achieving our dreams,” Troost-Ekong remarked.

“I am very happy with the team, very happy with our performance. It wasn't an easy game for us because South Africa has been fantastic in the tournament, and they deserved to be in the semi-finals.

“We won the game after the penalties, and it is something we should be proud of, and we will do that again.”

As Nigeria prepares to face Ivory Coast in the AFCON final, William Troost-Ekong's words epitomize the team's spirit and determination to claim victory and etch their names in African football history once again.

This article was most recently revised and updated 2 weeks ago

Rababe Koussaimi, a 22-year-old football journalist, is deeply passionate about the world of sports. The Moroccan journalist channels her enthusiasm into writing and conducting extensive research, creating insightful and engaging content for GoalBallLive readers.