Watford’s return to the Premier League has gotten off to a rough start as manager Xisco Muñoz was sacked in October with the club in 18th place. While results continue to be inconsistent under Claudio Ranieri, Emmanuel Dennis’ new arrival has been a revelation in the first half of the season and his stock is rising week by week.
The Nigerian’s signing was seen as a gamble – despite scoring 29 goals in 116 appearances for Club Brugge, he struggled during his half-season loan in the Bundesliga with Cologne.
After his return to Belgium, having gone nine appearances without scoring, Cologne sporting director Horst Heldt commented on the transfer, as reported. Scored:
“He is not an easy man. We knew about the problem, but we risked too much. We misjudged that… Dennis caused a stir because his behavior was not what the team was supposed to do. We then dropped him because our priority was the group. ”
Dennis silenced any doubts immediately, scoring the Hornets’ first goal of the season and providing an assist after a surprising start in the opening day win over Aston Villa.
He’s been a constant in the team’s struggles and is the only Premier League player apart from Mohamed Salah to score five goals and five assists so far in the campaign.
6 – Emmanuel Dennis is only the sixth player in Premier League history to reach all five goals and five assists in 12 games or less, after Eric Cantona (11), Jurgen Klinsmann (12), Arjen Robben ( 11), Andrey Arshavin (10) and Bruno Fernandes (9). The company. pic.twitter.com/QCZ6U5l7gS
– OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) November 28, 2021
Emmanuel Dennis offers Watford options
The 24-year-old offers Watford a variety of options thanks to his versatility. He was comfortable playing in the center or on the flanks and was often given alternate roles in the game against Brugge, which resulted in the team moving from 3-5-2 to 4-1-4-1. .
Tactical analysis by Footballbh.net noted Dennis’ versatility as well as other key aspects of his game that he showed at Watford:
Dennis’ heatmap is quite unusual for a striker. He seemed to put himself outside the box and drifted wide.
It should be noted that he has played a few games on the left and right flanks, however, the majority of the games have been as a central striker… Dennis has also shown a great presence on the pitch, a desirable property for any striker to have.
He averages 33.2 duels every 90 minutes, winning 36.3% of these duels; not a bad average considering he is fighting with the larger physicality of defenders.
His physicality was clear to see in Watford’s 4-1 win over Manchester United, in which he scored the fourth and provided two assists. After a ricochet landed on him at the edge of the box, he easily parried Diogo Dalot’s challenge to the final defeat. The reign of Ole Gunnar Solskjær.
Despite the Hornets’ 4-2 loss to Leicester over the weekend, Dennis’ pace and composure in front of goal was on display as he unleashed a loose pass to score:
Composing in the snow ️
🇳🇬 Emmanuel Dennis with his fifth goal of the season… pic.twitter.com/2ofw0xylnB
– Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) November 28, 2021
Watford have used Dennis across the entire forward line but perhaps his most decisive performance has come in midfield since arriving in the Premier League.
He has started two games in a row as Watford’s central striker and, speaking of his relationship with team-mate Ismaila Sarr earlier in the season, Dennis said Watford website:
We get along really well in training playing together and I know he will be really important to me if I’m going to be number nine… I’m really pleased with the combination. It’s been a process, so I’m really glad we got off to a good start and we keep working.
Wherever he ranks at the start, Dennis has left opposition defenders without a break this season: he’s registered nine assists in just 65 minutes in the win over Aston Villa and is averaging 0 His ,8 assists per game is his 8th – best in the Premier League, according to fbref.com.
His 225 pressuring opponents on the ball is also 19th best. Dennis isn’t afraid to add a bit of flair to his game either: he’s taken down opponents seven times this term, one Better stats than just Raphael and Trincao.
After arriving as a low-risk gamble, Dennis has quickly cemented his role as a key player for Watford and he is one of the first names on the team’s roster at the moment.
He could prove to be the best signing of the season, especially if his contributions are enough to help Watford stay in the Premier League.
https://thetopflight.com/2021/11/30/watford-emmanuel-dennis-star-season/ Emmanuel Dennis A Revelation for Wasps