Nigeria striker Emmanuel Dennis was handed a reprieve by Club Brugge as he returned to action for the Belgian heavyweights only days after being punished by the club for a petulant outburst that made international headlines.
The 23-year-old was suspended by the Belgian side ahead of their Champions League meeting with Borussia Dortmund in midweek, having stormed off the team bus ahead of the match after not being allowed to sit in his favourite seat.
The attacker’s petulant display was leapt upon by the world media, while Brugge opted to suspend the forward for the Dortmund meeting and fine him for his poor behaviour.
The Blue and Black were thumped 3-0 by the German giants in UCL action on Tuesday, and their tricky week got even worse on Saturday when they were held 0-0 at Mouscron in the Jupiler League.
Brugge coach Philippe Clement had confirmed ahead of the match that Dennis had been allowed to participate, and after being named on the bench, he was introduced in the 78th minute as the visitors sought a winner against their stubborn foe.
Ultimately, Dennis wasn’t able to provide the breakthrough, with an 87th-minute booking his primary contribution to an underwhelming outing for the reigning Belgian champions.
The draw means Brugge drop from top spot in the Jupiler League, having been displaced in first position by Genk following their 5-1 thumping of Cercle Brugge earlier on Saturday.
David Okereke, Youssouph Badji, Clinton Mata and Odilon Kossounou were all in action for Brugge, while the likes of Jean Onana, Kouakou Koffi and Eddy Gnohere featured for Mouscron during a contest dominated by African talent.
Dennis’s tough week has been the nadir of a testing campaign so far in which he’s failed to find the net in eight Jupiler League outings.
His toil in front of goal have made a mockery of some of the expectations set out for the forward ahead of the campaign, with Dennis linked with European heavyweights such as Arsenal and Internazionale.
A fee of £36 million was mooted for the attacker—who was also tipped for a move to Wolverhampton Wanderers—although ultimately he remained at the Jan Breydel Stadium.