William Troost-Ekong’s return to the international fold has come as a welcome boost for the Super Eagles, who sorely missed their leader on the pitch through injury in the last round of international matches they played back in March.
The Watford man spent the second half of last season on loan at Serie A side Salernitana, playing nine times for them, scoring on one occasion. For Watford and Salernitana, he made a combined 24 league appearances.
The 29-year-old spoke about how happy he was to be back in the Super Eagles camp with his teammates. He also spoke about the team’s motivations going into the AFCON 2023 qualifiers fixtures and how they have moved past the heartbreak of missing the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
William Troost-Ekong back in the Super Eagles Fold
“It has been amazing, I missed out in March because of injury. I want to support the team and play my part, I have always wanted to come back,” Ekong told reporters on Monday.
“For this qualification, everyone is motivated to get the ticket. Missing out on the World Cup is a painful memory but now we are looking ahead and I think we have put ourselves in a good position to qualify for the AFCON and redeem ourselves there.”
Troost-Ekong excited for locally based inclusions
The Super Eagles Vice Captain also expressed his happiness with the locally based players who were called up for the international matches.
Olorunleke Ojo of Enyimba, Divine Nwachukwu of Bendel Insurance, Victor Sochima and Chidiebube Duru of Rivers United were all called up to the national team as the locally based contingent in the squad. These players were a part of the Nigerian Professional Football League Playoffs and represent the cream of the crop in Nigerian football at the moment.
Nigeria Premier League stars called to the camp of the Super Eagles🦅
◉ Victor Sochima – Rivers United
◉ Ojo Olorunleke – Enyimba Int'l
◉ Chidiebube Duru – Rivers United
◉ Divine Nwachukwu – Insurance pic.twitter.com/tTZm5fpV93
— Leagues – Reporter (@LeaguesReporter) June 10, 2023
“I think it is important and I think it was great to see the final (playoffs) of the Nigerian Premier League yesterday and great to see some players who are in the final included. “I think it was something I said from the start that it would be great to see the Nigerian Premier League grow, we have so much talent in this country and it would be great for players to start their career here and not leaving for abroad straight away.
“For the players included, it is for them to push and show the coach what they can do and also for us to try and help them and maybe give them some experience as well as the blend of foreign and local professionals will be good for Nigeria.”
William Troost-Ekong also revealed that he would be open to playing in the NPFL in the future. “Who knows? Never say never and it would be a pleasure. Of course, we had our captain Musa do it who came back and it was a boost for the league here and who knows maybe in the future more of us will come back to Nigeria. For me, it will have to be Uyo, I will make sure I go home, we will see”
Troost-Ekong and the Super Eagles will travel to Sierra Leone to take on the Leone Stars on Sunday.
This article was most recently revised and updated 4 months ago