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African All Stars

Emmanuel Dennis: Watford sign Nigerian striker from Club Brugge

9:10 PM WAT 21/06/2021
Emmanuel Dennis Club Brugge 2019-20
The Super Eagles striker has been snapped up by the Hornets after leaving the Belgian First Division A side

Newly promoted Premier League side Watford have announced the signing of Emmanuel Dennis from Belgian top-flight side Club Brugge on a five-year deal.

Due to his failure to tie down a regular place at the Jan Breydel Stadium, the 23-year-old was loaned to FC Cologne for the 2020-21 campaign.

However, he struggled to get regular playing time at the Bundesliga outfit – featuring in nine German elite division games with no goals to his credit.

Nonetheless, he will continue his professional career with the English elite division outfit for an undisclosed fee.

“An agreement with Club Brugge has been reached for the transfer of exciting young forward Emmanuel Dennis, Watford FC is delighted to confirm,” the English topflight side wrote on their website.

“The 23-year-old Nigerian spent part of last season on loan in Germany's Bundesliga with 1. FC Koln, having first joined the Belgian top-flight side in the summer of 2017.

“A scorer of 27 goals in just over 90 club appearances for Brugge, he has featured in both the Uefa Champions League and Uefa Europa League.

“The Hornets are currently finalising personal terms with the pacy striker - capped twice by Nigeria so far - who began his professional career with some experience as a teenager in the Ukrainian Premier League with Zorya Luhansk.”

With this move, he becomes the eighth African in Xisco Munoz’s squad after William Troost-Ekong (Nigeria), Tom Dele-Bashiru (Nigeria), Adam Masina (Morocco), Isaac Success (Nigeria), Ismaïla Sarr (Senegal), Imran Louza (Morocco) and Kwadwo Baah (Ghana).

During his time at Club Brugge, he scored a brace as the Blue-Black held Real Madrid to a 2-2 draw in a Champions League game played two seasons ago.

In the process, Dennis became the third Nigerian to score against Los Blancos in the European club competition.

Others to have achieved this feat are former Nigeria internationals Yusuf Ayila and James Obiorah.

Furthermore, his first strike against the Spaniards was the earliest goal scored by the Belgians in Champions League history.

On the international scene, he made his Super Eagles debut on September 10, 2019 in Gernot Rohr’s men’s 2–2 friendly draw with Ukraine, coming on as an 82nd-minute substitute for Samuel Chukwueze.

He was also in action when the three-time African kings played former world champions Brazil in another test game in Singapore.