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Can William Troost-Ekong Maintain His Afcon Momentum Into The Future?

My views about William Troost Ekong hasn’t changed: he is still an error-prone centre back who has the propensity to be a liability.

That said, he brought he A+ game to this Afcon and Nigeria benefitted from it.

Ekong himself came out to say that he was considering quitting from the national team due to how Peseiro had overlooked him leading up to the tournament.

Against Portugal Ekong scored an own goal and he struggled badly under Peseiro’s erstwhile 4-2-4 formation. If truth be told, even Akpoguma, Bassey and Uzoho suffered massively under this loose formation.

I really never thought Ekong will be a first team member in the Afcon tournament because I thought Peseiro had settled on Ajayi-Bassey combo. But the Portuguese gaffer showed how flexible he can be in reinstating Ekong to the starting line up after the own goal against Portugal and some unimpressive displays against Sierra Leone in Afcon qualifiers.

Even Ekong himself had started doubting his own abilities and continued relevance to the team before being encouraged by his teammates.

“They (my colleagues) all said that they thought it would be a real shame (if I left the team). They felt I still have a lot to give…. That encouragement made me change my mind.” Said Ekong paraphrased.

Ekong must have been hell bent to prove Peseiro and his critics like myself wrong in this tournament and he blew us all out of the park with barnstorming and a Rock star performance.

His pre-assist against Equatorial Guinea , his hard nose penalty against South Africa, his powerful headed goal against Ivory Coast and his many goal saving interceptions: Ekong was truly deserving of his player of the tournament award.

But, can he sustain that level of performance? What happens when Nigeria go back to playing 2 centre backs?

I respect Ekong and how he upped his game to achieve greatness in the just concluded Afcon.

However, the scrutiny he was subjected to before Afcon will be reignited if the own goals and inadequate markings from Ekong resurface.

It is reported that he is currently out injured. I wish him speedy

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