The vice-captain of the Nigerian national team has disclosed the content of his conversation with the Heracles Almelo star before the striker was handed a first-time call-up
A former Netherlands youth international, William Troost-Ekong speaks Dutch just like Cyriel Dessers and was able to highlight for the Belgian-born attacker the pros and cons of choosing to play for the Super Eagles.
Ekong was once in Dessers shoes before he opted to play for Nigeria over the Netherlands. The former Bursaspor centre-back has since played at the FIFA World Cup, then claimed bronze medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics and the 2019 AFCON.
The Udinese defender revealed that he informed Dessers that he would not regret playing for the three-time African champions.
But he warned the former NAC Breda that becoming a key member of the Super Eagles would not be a walk in the park as coach Gernot Rohr-led team is blessed with quality forwards.
But the likes of Paul Onuachu, Kelechi Iheanacho, Emmanuel Dennis, Josh Maja and Ahmed Musa continue to provide massive competition for the Number 9 jersey in the Super Eagles.
Ekong is pleased that Dessers committed to the Super Eagles despite being made aware of this scenario before his invitation.
“I spoke with Cyriel Dessers before his call up. He asked me questions about being part of the team,” Ekong told the Super Eagles Media Team via Instagram.
“We both speak Dutch. It was normal for us to talk. I said he should take the opportunity with both hands.
“I told him there is a tough competition in the striker role and that playing for the Super Eagles is the best decision I have ever made myself playing football.
“I’m really happy he decided to play for Nigeria. He is really looking forward to it.
“It is great now that more and more young and talented players want to play for the Super Eagles as we are one of the biggest teams in Africa”.
Dessers, 25, could not make his debut against Sierra Leone last month because the doubleheader Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers were postponed as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.