Should Salernitana stay in Serie A this season, then William Troost-Ekong’s move to the Italian side could be worth almost £1m to Watford.

That’s the amount The Watford Observer understands has been negotiated as part of the 29-year-old’s switch to the Stadio Arechi.

The Garnets have paid a loan fee to obtain the Nigerian skipper’s services for the remainder of this season and, should they stay up, the Hornets will pocket the near seven-figure sum.

The club, based near Naples, have the option to purchase Troost-Ekong at the end of the season.

The defender waved farewell to all four stands at Vicarage Road after the game with Rotherham on Saturday, and it’s my understanding that he opted to move to Italy in order to get more first-team playing time.

He confirmed his switch to Italy yesterday.

Troost-Ekong has only started two of the seven Championship games since matches resumed after the World Cup break, and he was replaced at half-time in his most recent start against Blackpool.


So, what are the chances of Salernitana staying up?

They currently sit 16th of 20 in Serie A, six points above the relegation zone.

They stayed up on the last day of last season, despite being thumped 4-0 by Udinese. Cagliari could have sent them down, but they could only draw with already doomed Venezia, meaning Salernitana survived by a point.

This season they have struggled again. They managed three wins in four games in October, but haven’t won in the league since the 3-1 success at Lazio on October 30.

Defensively they have been particularly porous, and the 38 goals they have conceded is the worst in the division.

They haven’t kept a clean sheet in 12 hours of football and earlier this month they suffered a humiliating 8-2 defeat at fifth-placed Atalanta (former Everton, Fulham and Leicester forward Ademola Lookman scored twice for Atalanta).

As well as the Watford defender, Salernitana have also taken young Juventus midfielder Hans Nicolussi Caviglia on loan during the transfer window.

They've also signed the legendary veteran Mexican goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa from Club America. The 37-year-old, capped 134 times by his country, has started all four games since he arrived at the start of the month and conceded 13 goals.

Troost-Ekong could make his debut this Friday when Salernitana travel to Lecce, who are only two points and two places above them in the table. That game is being shown live on BT Sport 3.