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Why I left Watford for Salernitana – Troost-Ekong opens up

Troost-Ekong spent three years at Vicarage Road, but he surprisingly decided to switch to Italian football 

Super Eagles defender William Troost-Ekong has revealed that he left Watford because he felt undervalued at the club and he wanted a new challenge.

Troost-Ekong joined Watford in 2020 and it has been a rollercoaster ride for the 29-year-old Nigeria international.

He helped them gain Premier League promotion in his first season, but he struggled to keep up with the pace in his second season. He was part of a Watford side that got relegated after getting just 23 points in 38 games.

This season, the former Udinese man has been in and out of the team. Troost-Ekong only featured in 15 of Watford’s games.

However, just before the end of the January transfer window, Troost-Ekong sealed a surprise move to Salernitana.

Speaking on the reason for his decision, the Super Eagles defender revealed that he decided to join the Serie A club because he felt undervalued.


“This was the hardest choice I’ve had to make in my career,” Troost-Ekong told The Athletic.

“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,” the 29-year-old center-back added.

“Salernitana did their best to give me a great opportunity to try to improve every aspect — playing time, economically, and an opportunity to play in a good league. You have to consider it.

“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 percent 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,” Troost-Ekong concluded.


Troost-Ekong is already at home at Salernitana. He played all 90 minutes in their 2-1 victory over Lecce last weekend. He would look to help his side preserve their Serie A status this season.





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