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Nigerian Defender William Troost-Ekong Joins Gent FC

Valentine Chinyem

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21 year-old Nigerian defender,  William Troost-Ekong has expressed delight with his new team, says he is thrilled to have completed his move to Belgian champions Gent. Ekong joined the Belgian kings on a three-year contract following FC Dordrecht’s relegation from the Dutch league.

However, he will spend the first year on loan at Norway’s FK Haugesund.

“I’m very happy to have signed with the Belgium champions. I took my time deciding on my next best step,” Troost-Ekong told BBC Sport.

“I thank Gent for this great opportunity and I look forward to joining the club at the end of my loan.”

He will be hoping for a regular action in the Buffalos’ defence that boast of Rafinha, Uroš Vitas and Ante Puljić. The Super Eagles player rejected a big-money offer from Russian club Rostov and he also turned down interests from Spanish second-tier club SD Ponferradina and an English Championship side.

He added, “I spoke with the Nigeria coach (Sunday Oliseh) and the emphasis was for me to ensure that I am playing regular top-flight football even if that meant seeking a loan move.

“I’m thankful for his advice and together with what I and my management had in mind, this was the best option.

“Going to Norway gives me an opportunity to play regularly and continue my progress.”

Troost-Ekong, who made his debut for Nigeria in a match against Chad on June 13, represented the Netherlands at youth level before switching allegiance to his father’s country.

Moses Simon is another Nigerian playing for Hein Vanhaezebrouck’s side, and they will be hoping to retain their domestic diadem and also do well in next season’s Uefa Champions League.