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Tunde Adelakun, a member of the Super Eagles technical crew, has stated that William Troost-Ekong joining Watford is a “win-win” for the centre-back.

The 27-year-old Nigerian ended his two-year association with Serie A side Udinese, amassing 66 appearances in all competitions before opting for Vicarage Road.

Troost-Ekong’s move had raised some eyebrows on why he opted for a lower tier, but Adelakun asserts it is to be closer to his family who are based in the city of Watford. More importantly, Troost-Ekong will be able to help the Hornets get back into the Premier League having finished in 19th place last season.

It will also give him the chance to play in the English top-flight having started out his career at youth level at Tottenham Hotspur alongside Harry Kane but he was unable to make it into the first team.

“It brings him closer to home so he can be part of seeing his family, especially seeing his young son growing, Adelakun told The Athletic.

“As soon as he told me about it and as soon as I heard that it was Watford, it was going to be a win-win for him because he will be within a very short driving distance from home, so he can stay at home and still be able to play good football as the Championship is a very good league. He will get game time and develop. We’re all hoping for that (to be a great success).

“The carrot that was dangled before him is that Watford have a good project going. They were disappointed to get relegated and they plan to go straight back up, and they believe he can be an integral part of that, which means it can be part of him coming back to the Premier League, which is where he has always wanted to play.”

Adelakun went further to explain how Troost-Ekong has been fond of life in England which never left him after departing Spurs. His senior career has seen him play in the Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Turkey and Italy, but he has always wanted to settle in England.

“William has always been a London boy,” Adelakun continued. “He never left his affiliation with England and therefore, when he wanted to buy property, he wanted to buy in England because he regards that as home. Even in Norway, Turkey and Italy, when he reports for international duty, he always flies via London. He has always found it more comfortable, always leaned towards being in England, and it was no surprise that he bought a house in Hertfordshire.”

Adelakun believes Troost-Ekong is captain material for Watford, a position currently occupied by long-time servant Troy Deeney. Regardless, the Olympic Bronze medallist’s presence will improve the quality and atmosphere at Vicarage Road.

“I don’t know about the subtleties at Watford at the moment but he is captain material,” Adelakun said. “But it’s not every player that is captain material that is made captain. There are captains on the pitch and in the dressing room, even when they’re not wearing the armband. And he can be one of those.

“He’s a good defender; committed to good performances at all times, good aerially with an eye for a good pass. A good football player and person. He likes to take responsibility and he eggs the players on. Even if they don’t give him the armband, he will show leadership and quality, and they will be better off for it.”

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September 30, 2020
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