Watford coach, Valerien Ismael, has revealed that the hunger shown by Emmanuel Dennis was instrumental in his return to Vicarage Road.
The 26-year-old forward, who scored 10 goals during the Hornets’ 2021/22 Premier League campaign, completed a loan move back to Watford from NottinghamForest for the rest of this season on Wednesday.
“He knows the club and he wanted to come,” said Ismael on Dennis arrival.
“He put a great mentality into the deal to make sure he can come to join us. He’s making a lot of sacrifice, which shows big mentality and that’s why we’re pleased that he’s in.”
Ismaël has first-hand experience of Dennis’ talent, having come up against him as Head Coach at Austrian side LASK when they faced a 2019 Champions League play-off against Club Brugge, with the attacker scoring the second-leg winner.
“I know him very well for his capability to adapt his pace and his quality in one-v-ones,” said Ismael.
“We put our attacking players in good positions all the time and sometimes we’re just missing the last pass or the final decision making. We expect him to bring more calmness and ruthlessness in the opposite box.”
Ismael also revealed signing Dennis might have been an option in the summer 2023 transfer window, but at the time a traditional centre-forward was his main priority.
“We were more targeting a number nine at that point,” he explained.
“We are taking Dennis now because we knew that we needed more pace on the wings and he is someone who is able to play all the three forward positions.
“He is suitable for us due to the position we were seeking and the experience and quality he has. He has versatility and he brings the profile we need.
“Now we will work with him to make sure that he’s ready to compete.”
He could make his second home debut for Watford when they face Southampton at the Vicarage Road on Saturday.