In perhaps one of the audacious transfer links of the summer 2022 window (to date) is that of Emmanuel Dennis.
Dennis has been linked repeatedly to Villa across a couple of seasons now, including rumoured interest whilst still at Club Brugge in 2020. As it transpired, the Nigerian forward would depart with a tally of 27 goals in 90 appearances in Belgium, before a short loan stint in the Bundesliga with Cologne.
The Nigerian international with both Europa and Champions League appearances to his name would end up arriving at Vicarage Road, signing a 5 year deal with Watford in June 2021.
Although ultimately relegated with The Hornets, the 24 year was a stand-out figure in a side that was doomed to a return to The Championship. Despite Watford’s woes, Dennis did contribute a decent return of 10 goals and 6 assists throughout the campaign. Villa supporters may recall that he scored in the away fixture in August 2021.Embed from Getty Images
The strength of this transfer link, however, is extremely limited, with little in the way of reputable sources.
Perhaps as a further indication of Dennis’ ultimate destination are more concrete reports that the striker interests Turkish giants Galatasary. Galatasary missed out on his signature last summer. However, it’s understood that the player, with a top-end valuation totalling an eye watering £30m, interests the likes of West Ham, Palace and latterly Villa.
There is also a puzzle as to Dennis’ valuation, especially given suggestions that Watford’s original fee of £20m was in fact likely closer to £3m-£4m in 2021. However, reports closer to home indicate that the relegated side are holding out for a figure closer to £20m. The wonderful world of transfer fees…
Aside from the tentative nature of the transfer rumour, it’s debatable if Villa are even in the market for a striker such as Dennis.
With a compliment of options such as Ings and Watkins, Steven Gerrard must decide whether he intends to stick or twist with this strike partnership. Additionally, the club will be pondering what to do following the end of Keinan Davis’ successful loan at Forest, and promising youngsters Cameron Archer and Louie Barry returning to Villa Park after valuable first team stints in the lower leagues.