Watford coach Claudio Ranieri and Emmanuel Dennis of Nigeria.Watford.

‘Dennis is a very talented player’ – Watford’s Ranieri sings praises of Nigeria star ahead of Arsenal clash

Watford manager Claudio Ranieri has backed striker Emmanuel Dennis to produce a good performance when they take on Arsenal in a Premier League fixture on Sunday.

The 23-year-old Nigeria international missed the Hornets’ last league assignment against Southampton after accumulating five yellow cards but he will now be available when they visit the Emirates Stadium to face the Gunners.

Before his suspension, Dennis, who has so far scored three goals from 11 appearances, was the team’s star player when he scored and set up two goals as they came from behind to beat Everton 5-2 at Goodison Park.

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Ahead of the Arsenal game, the 70-year-old Italian manager has confessed he missed the Super Eagle in the 1-0 defeat against the Saints and that his return will give the team a different dimension against Arsenal.

“[Dennis] is a very talented player. He’s fast, has good skill, always runs straight to the goal - I love these kinds of players,” Ranieri told the club’s official website.

“I missed him in the Southampton match and I think he can have a very good match against Arsenal.”

On facing Arsenal, Ranieri said: “On Sunday we will play against a very good team, a very good manager. Now we have to do our best to do something good,” said Ranieri.

“Every manager has his idea and the Arsenal players understand what [Mikel] Arteta wants. I’ve watched Arsenal play with a lot of quality, when they counter-attack they are fantastic and it is very similar to Arsene Wenger’s counter-attack. We must be careful of it.

“I’m awaiting a difficult match, but I’m sure for Arsenal it will be a difficult match too.”

Ranieri, who is just over a month into his tenure at Vicarage Road, continued: “It will be very important to achieve the points but also to see how they show my philosophy.

“We are building a team with a different philosophy, and I think they need time to understand me. We are very close to showing my football.

“We must show good football but also have a good attitude, and I’m sure we can do this.”