Emmanuel Dennis:Silver Lining from the Forest
In spite of Emmanuel Dennis having joined his Watford’s teammates in the Championship and was even involved in the two matches played by the club in the new season which was against his earlier stand not to sink with the Hornets, the Nigeria striker could still achieve his aim of staying in the English top flight after Nottingham Forest showed interest in the Super Eagles forward
Nottingham Forest have made an opening bid for Watford forward Emmanuel Dennis, though the exact structure of the proposed transfer is unclear but the total fee inclusive of add-ons is understood to be in the region of £20 million.
Forest along with West Ham United had over the weeks shown interest in the 24-year-old who scored 10 goals and recorded six assists for Watford in the Premier League last season. It is however believed West Ham’s interest in the player has now ended.
Watford are ready to sell at the right price, as they have been since relegation was confirmed.
Dennis expects to leave this window but played against Sheffield United and West Bromwich Albion as he continues to work in a professional manner at the club he joined from Club Bruges in 2021.
Watford owner, Gino Pozzo had been determined to land the right fee for the player and Forest look set to meet the club’s valuation.
Club Bruges will receive a five per cent sell-on fee but Watford still stand to make a significant profit on a player they bought for £4 million.
Forest head coach, Steve Cooper has overseen a major summer revamp to prepare for the top flight, making 12 signings so far.
But Cooper wants to further boost his forward line and the aim, if the deal comes to fruition, would be to pair Dennis with fellow Nigerian, Taiwo Awoniyi, who signed from Union Berlin.
Premier League newcomers, Nottingham Forest have agreed a £20 million deal for the Watford striker. The Athletic reported yesterday that Nottingham Forest had an opening bid for the Nigerian rejected last month.
The Premier League newcomers have now agreed a deal in principle with personal terms already struck with just final negotiations ongoing.
Nottingham Forest will be paying an initial fee of €17 million and they are now finalising the details of the final deal with Watford.
According to French sports daily L’Equipe, Watford have also managed to convince Nottingham Forest to include a sell-on clause as part of the deal as well.
The figure is unclear but Watford would get a fee if Nottingham Forest sell Dennis for a bigger figure in the coming years.
Cooper has been keen to add more firepower to their front line this summer and Dennis will soon become the latest attacker to join Forest.
Nottingham Forest were given a cold entrance in their first game after they returned to the Premier League in more than a decade.
Newcastle defeated Forest 2-0 and the owner, Evangelis Marinakis is still willing to invest in the squad.
Forest got Taiwo Awoniyi for £17.5 million earlier in the window and have gotten Orel Mangala, Neco Williams, Jesse Lingard and Omar Richards since then.
They’re however in the hunt for Dennis, the Nigerian forward who scored 10 goals in the Premier League last season and shot to prominence in the league.
Dennis was voted in the Championship Player of the week in the opening week and hasn’t looked out of place so far, playing with much sharpness.
Nottingham Forest are however reluctant to sanction a permanent transfer yet as Dennis is valued at £20 million.
With six assists last season, his 16 goal contributions was one of the highest in the league and by far, Watford’s best.
The Nigerian has four years left on his contract and Watford are in a comfortable position.
The former Cologne star took the Premier League by storm last season, scoring 10 goals and registering six assists, directly involved in almost half of Watford’s goals last term.
Indeed, his performance caught the eye of a number of big clubs, including Spanish LaLiga side, Villarreal, according to a report on Daily Mail.
Dennis has emerged as one of the bargain signings of last summer transfer window, with Watford paying four million euros to Club Brugge to sign the striker.
West Ham hero, Mark Noble had labelled Dennis’ early strike in the Hammers’ 4-1 rout of Watford a great goal when the Hornets suffered their fifth successive loss in the Premier League despite their Nigerian talisman giving them the lead.
Dennis fired a rising shot into the top corner to break the deadlock after evading the challenge of Craig Dawson, taking his tally in the top-flight to eight goals in the process.
Speaking to BBC Sport post-match, the Hammers captain said: “They started with a great goal from Dennis but then I think we controlled the half and deserved to go 2-1 up.”
Only Liverpool’s Egypt winger Mohamed Salah has had more goal involvements than Dennis in the Premier League last season.
Indeed, Arsenal icon, Ian Wright highlighted the importance of Dennis to the Watford side after the red-hot striker scored again in a 4-1 loss to West Ham United in a Premier League clash at Vicarage Road.
With his strike against the Hammers, the Nigeria international had a hand in 66.7 per cent of the goals Watford scored in the Premier League last season.
Statistically, those numbers clearly show Dennis’ importance to Watford.
Speaking on Premier League Productions’ Premier League Wrap, Wright said: “At the start, Tim Sherwood mentioned that Dennis is the one if anything could happen it’s probably going to come from him.
“That’s beautifully taken, composure, he’s not rushing that.”
The Super Eagles striker joined Watford from Club Brugge last summer on a five-year deal worth £4.5 million.