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Watford’s Troost-Ekong assures Super Eagles fans: I am a ‘Naija Boy’

8:25 pm AEST 7/5/22
William Troost-Ekong, Nigeria
The 28-year-old defender remembers his days when he was growing up in Netherlands before opting to play for the Super Eagles

Nigeria defender William Troost-Ekong has taken to his social media pages to assure Super Eagles fans that he is a true “Naija Boy.”

Born in the Netherlands into a mixed Dutch and Nigerian family, Troost-Ekong, who currently turns out for Premier League outfit Watford, was eligible for both the Netherlands and Nigeria in international football.

The 28-year-old made his debut for Nigeria in 2015 and has since earned more than 50 caps.

He has now taken to his Instagram page to share his photos of how he was brought up in the Dutch nation. In the photos, Troost-Ekong can be seen being carried at the back by his Dutch mum, while in another, he is seen cleaning the house.

Another photo has Troost-Ekong and two family members while another seems to be a photo where he is being taken care of by his grandmother.

The sequence of the photos has left many Nigerian fans talking with e_dennisblessed saying: “Now he is real Naija boy while victoriaeverest_ wrote: “My beautiful cousin so proud of how you have gracefully grown.”

funkkyskitchen simply said: “Beautiful memories.”

Troost-Ekong attended secondary school at Hockerill Anglo-European College in Bishop’s Stortford, in England. He played at youth level in England for Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur, but he began his senior career in the Netherlands with FC Groningen and FC Dordrecht.

After being linked abroad with transfers to Celtic among others, he signed for Belgian club KAA Gent in July 2015 and was immediately loaned out to Norwegian club FK Haugesund. In July 2017, Troost-Ekong signed for Turkish Super Lig club Bursaspor.

On September 29, 2020, the Super Eagle signed for EFL Championship side Watford on a five-year contract deal. He scored his first goal for the club in a 3-2 win over Coventry City on November 7, 2020.

On the international scene, he made his senior international debut for the Super Eagles on June 13, 2015, playing 90 minutes in an Afcon qualifying match against Chad. He made three starts for the senior team in 2016 before being selected for Nigeria's U23 team in their 35-man provisional squad for the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics.

In June 2018, he was named in Nigeria's 23-man squad for the 2018 Fifa World Cup in Russia. He captained the Super Eagles in the delayed 2021 Africa Cup of Nations in Cameroon and was named in the tournament Technical Study Group’s Best XI of the Group Stage, scoring against Guinea-Bissau.

Nigeria went on to be knocked out by Tunisia in the Round of 16.