William Troost-Ekong Names Leon Balogun His Preferred Super Eagles Defensive Partner

The 26-year-old has spoken of his understanding with the Latics centre-back during national duty

Udinese star William Troost-Ekong has named on-loan Brighton and Hove Albion centre-backbas his preferred Super Eagles defensive partner.

Troost-Ekong has been a key member of Nigeria national team since making his debut for the side in 2015 and now has 42 caps for the three-time African champions.

The 26-year-old forged a productive partnership with Balogun at the heart of the Super Eagles defence, as they were the first-choice pairing by manager Gernot Rohr before the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations.

Troost-Ekong has, however, partnered other players like Kenneth Omeruo, Chidozie Awaziem and Semi Ajayi lately after Balogun failed to secure game time at Brighton which also limited his chances with the West Africans.

“There have been many different partnerships I have played with. Again over the last five years, the games I have played, most of them with Leon,” Troost-Ekong told Super Eagles media team in an Instagram chat.

“He has been very good, I think we have good understanding. Leon has more experience, he came one year before I played my first game for the Super Eagles.

“He is like a big brother to me and it has been good playing with him, I have learnt a lot from him as well.

“It always makes it easier when you have the same kind of mentality because you can understand each other well and you make good decisions together.”

In an effort to revive his career, Balogun joined Championship side Wigan Athletic on a short-term loan deal in January and has been delivering solid defensive performances.

Ekong and Balogun were part of the Super Eagles squad that finished third at the Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.

They also formed part of the team scheduled to face Sierra Leone in an Afcon qualifying game last month before the match was postponed due to the spread of coronavirus.

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