Emmanuel Dennis: Falls Short of Expectation at The Garibaldi

Barely five months after joining Nottingham Forest as one of their high-profile players for a record fee of £15 million from Watford, the tricky Trees could no longer accommodate Nigeria international, Emmanuel Dennis after failing to impress and are ready to ship him out to any interested club

Nottingham Forest are prepared to listen to offers for Emmanuel Dennis despite only signing him last summer for £15million from Watford as the 25-year-old has failed to make an impact and Forest need to streamline their squad to strengthen again this window.

The Super Eagles striker has failed to replicate the same brilliance he showed at Watford last season

Dennis has proven to be a big disappointment having arrived as part of a major overhaul at the City Ground in the summer.  He has mustered just three Premier League starts and has scored one goal.

Having started the season with Watford, playing a handful of games in the Championship for them before making the move to Forest, moving Dennis on becomes more complicated. 

Options open to Dennis and Forest would be for him to move to a club abroad, or if he wants to remain in England, he would only be eligible to return to Watford, given players cannot play for three teams in the same season as per FA rules.

Plans are in place to offload Dennis before the deadline on January 31. 

The Nigeria international has been made available this month for transfer as Forest move to trim their 25-man squad to bring in new signings.

In the 3-0 defeat to Manchester United on December 27, Dennis appeared as a second-half substitute and is alleged to have infuriated coaching staff for his part in the home team’s third goal.

Forest Manager, Steve Cooper said last week that the club, who spent £150 million in the summer, will sign more players in January in a bid to beat the drop, but is very aware that he needs a consistent group of players.

“For sure, we have to get to a point where we have got a settled group. That’s not to say we are not settled,” Cooper said.

“Togetherness, spirit and culture come over the course of time. There’s no doubt about that.

“That’s the intention and it’s games where you learn a lot about players’ personalities and characters and they learn a lot themselves. That’s how they build relationships.

“So, yes, we are going to need a settled group. But if you look at the number of games we’ve got coming up, we’re going to need more than a team.

“Injuries can happen. And you can make five changes in a team.

“You need to prepare for more than a starting XI because there’s so many times when players have come off the bench and had a positive impact for us – sometimes a negative one as well – it’s a good reminder all the time of preparing everyone that we can.

“But we have got to get consistency and that’s what we are trying to do.”

The former Club Brugge has been more of a squad player since he joined Forest and has made 10  Premier League appearances this season, but seven of those have been from the bench.

The Telegraph reports that the Nottingham Forest coaching staff were unhappy with Dennis’ performance in their 3-0 loss to Manchester United and have admitted that they are looking to add some quality to the squad. For that to happen, they would need to shed some weight and Dennis could be one of the scapegoats.

The Nigeria international has had a nomadic career, playing for five different European clubs.

Dennis is currently valued at €12 million as per Transfermarkt. He has a big point to prove if he wants to remain at City Ground. The team is currently fighting tooth and nail to stay afloat in the Premier League.

At this stage last season, Dennis already had six-goal contributions in the Premier League (three goals and three assists), which was impressive, considering it was his debut campaign.

Dennis’ performance even caused a club versus country row after Watford denied him from joining up with the Super Eagles squad for the Africa Cup of Nations.

The decision irked many Nigerian fans, who questioned Dennis’ desire and commitment. Nonetheless, all was forgotten as Dennis returned to the team for the World Cup playoffs.

While the 24-year-old could not help Nigeria qualify, Dennis went on to have a great finish to the season with Watford. The Super Eagles star scored seven more goals in the Premier League and recorded three assists to end up with 10 goals and six assists.

Although Dennis’ displays could not help Watford escape relegation, it got him a move to another newly-promoted Premier League side, Nottingham Forest.

Reports say his poor performance is not the only reason why Nottingham Forest are considering selling the Nigerian international but his attitude has always been a problem ever since he broke out four years ago.

At Club Brugge, he acted petulantly and was suspended after his teammate sat on his favourite seat. The decision eventually led to his exit, joining FC Cologne on a loan deal.

Dennis therefore needs to fix his character issues and over-bloated ego.

An upsurge in his form would surely end any talks of ousting him at Nottingham Forest.

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