Crystal Palace have been warned from making a move for Watford forward Emmanuel Dennis following reports linking him to a summer switch to the club.
The 24-year-old signed scored ten goals for the Hornets last season following his £3.4million move from Belgian side Club Brugge, but despite finishing as the club’s top goalscorer, he could not save them from relegation back to the Championship. The Nigerian international now faces a long summer of speculation, with several clubs rumoured to be interested in luring him away from Watford and back to the Premier League.
One of those teams, as reported by LondonWorld, is Crystal Palace, where Patrick Vieira, Steve Parish and Dougie Freedman are busy working out how they can build upon a successful 2021/22 campaign. The Eagles began a new project following the appointment of Vieira last summer and reshaped their first-team squad with several new signings.
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More incomings are expected during the summer window, which opens on June 10, with Palace looking to fine-tune their squad with additions in key areas. Cover at centre-back is required as well as a physical midfielder who can slot straight into the starting XI. There is also interest in bringing in a striker, with Vieira’s current options of Christian Benteke, Odsonne Edouard and Jean-Philippe Mateta managing a return of just 15 league goals between them last term.
To that end, the Eagles have been regularly linked with Arsenal’s out-of-contract forward Eddie Nketiah, reportedly tabling two unsuccessful bids for him in January. But with the 23-year-old now looking closer to extending his stay at the Emirates, attention could turn elsewhere.
We caught up with Hertfordshire Mercury’s Watford FC correspondent Hal Fish to get the lowdown on Dennis and to find out if he would be a good match for Crystal Palace next season. Here’s what he had to say:
“It is no surprise to see Emmanuel Dennis linked with a move to a number of Premier League clubs already this summer. That will happen when any 24-year-old scores ten league goals and claims six assists despite his side being relegated. The Nigerian arrived in England like a man on a mission. In his first 12 games, he had already contributed five goals and five assists. Unfortunately, Watford struggled as the season wore on, and his form reflected this. Indeed, the winger scored just twice after the New Year.
“At his best, Dennis is a final-product monster – dribbling at defenders before firing off shots or picking out crosses that cause chaos in the box. At his worst, his decision making can be poor – running into crowded spaces with the ball at his feet. While his form can fluctuate, it really feels as if one goal contribution can spark him back into life in an instant, almost transforming him from one moment to the next.
“There is little doubting Dennis would tear up the Championship, and in an ideal world, he would stay with the club to help them gain promotion next term. Having signed last summer for just £3.4m, however, the opportunity to make a remarkable profit on him already will likely be too tempting for the ‘Orns.
“Content to play from the left-flank or down the middle, he might not have the technical security of some of Crystal Palace’s other attacking options, but his direct playing style would make him a pretty exciting element to add to the team.”
Source by Football London