Troost-Ekong: Nigerian says joining Udinese completes 'a great summer'

By Oluwashina OkelejiFrance
Troost-Ekong, who became a father for the first time in July, scored in his final game for Bursaspor before moving to Udinese

Nigeria's World Cup defender William Troost-Ekong has described his move to Italian club Udinese as the completion of "a great summer."

The 24-year-old signed a four-year deal with the Italians on Fridayexternal-link from Turkish side Bursaspor, where he scored three goals in 32 games and has been included in a 22-man squad for Sunday's season opener at Parma.

Dutch-born Ekong played all three matches for Nigeria in Russia and scored in his final game for Bursaspor last weekend.

"It's been a long journey and this move to Udinese completes a great summer for my career," Troost-Ekong told BBC Sport.

"I played in my first World Cup, became a father for the first time and now have the chance to begin a new chapter in Italian football.

"I have had amazing support around me to get here, including at the national team and club level. I thank God and everyone for the support," he added.

Troost-Ekong started his career with the Tottenham Hotspur youth side in England before returning to the Netherlands to join Groningen in 2013 and played on loan at Dordrecht, before a switch to Belgian club Gent in 2015.

He had a successful season-long loan stint at Norway's FK Haugesund in the 2015/16 season, followed by eight appearances for Gent before his quest for regular first-team football led to a move to Turkey last summer.

The centre-back was born in the Netherlands to a Dutch mother and Nigerian father, making him eligible for both countries.

He represented the Netherlands at youth level before switching allegiance to Nigeria and made his debut for the three-time African champions in a match against Chad on 13 June 2015.

He won Olympic football bronze with Nigeria at the 2016 Rio Games and has scored once in 24 appearances for the Super Eagles.

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