Nottingham Forest signed Nigerian international Emmanuel Dennis ahead of the 2022-23 Premier League season, becoming the 12th transfer signing at the time for the newly-promoted club. Yet, just 370 minutes have been played by Dennis this season in the Premier League, and a transfer away from the club looks likely this January.
Dennis has only been at the City Ground for around six months, yet Nottingham Forest’s coaching staff has been disappointed with the player. Yes, Dennis has one goal and one assist in 10 appearances in the league this season.
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It isn’t a bad return for a player that averaged 37 minutes in his opening 10 games of the season. However, Nottingham Forest’s staff isn’t necessarily upset over the output from the player. Rather, coaches are disappointed with the attitude and contributions of the Nigerian striker.
Forest paid Championship club Watford around £10 million for the striker in the offseason. Although the fee could rise to as much as £20m, Nottingham Forest’s initial pay was around half the figure that was reported in the British football media.
The 25-year-old striker had made waves at Watford last season in the Premier League. He scored 10 goals and added six assists, as Watford battled relegation before ultimately going down to the second division.
Talent and goalscoring has never been in question for Dennis. The problem that has haunted the striker for years has been his attitude, which has been labelled as poor for some time. There were issues at Belgium’s Club Brugge and Germany’s Cologne. His play at Watford overshadowed any issues with attitude.
Nottingham Forest spent more than £150m on new players during the offseason on 23 new players. Dennis was one of those new players, as he arrived in the middle of the club’s spending spree. The final straw on Dennis’ Nottingham Forest career may have come at Old Trafford in the Reds’ 3-0 loss to Manchester United.
Dennis played a wayward pass that led to Manchester United’s third goal of the game. Manager Steve Cooper and his staff were upset with Dennis’ performance. It was reported that players and/or coaches had a harsh exchange of words with the striker.
Nottingham Forest are in the market to sell players in January. Several players along with Dennis are surplus to requirements. Some of the players Forest want to move on were from the promotion-winning team from last term. Lyle Taylor and Harry Arter are two players that are no longer needed at the City Ground and will leave in some capacity in January.
Reports indicate Dennis has some admires. He cannot land at another Premier League team, but at least one unnamed club from Major League Soccer and a team from Saudi Arabia have inquired about the player.
There is a problem with any transfer for Dennis, and it is monetary. He has played for both Forest and Watford this season. Transfer rules won’t allow Dennis to join another team that plays a league season from August to May except for Watford. Therefore, he must join an MLS, Saudi, or another club that plays a season beginning in February or March and ending in October or November.