African All Stars

Red-hot Dennis eclipses his best goalscoring tally in Watford’s defeat to West Ham United

20:47 EAT 28/12/2021
Emmanuel Dennis
The Super Eagle has now scored five times in his last six matches for the Hornets, albeit, they still crumbled to the Hammers at home

Emmanuel Dennis has overtaken his best goalscoring tally in a single league season after he scored his eighth Premier League goal in Watford’s 4-1 defeat to West Ham United on Tuesday evening.

The Nigerian gave the Hornets an early lead at Vicarage Road, regardless, that could not stop Claudio Ranieri’s men from losing their 12th game of the 2021-22 campaign.

Joshua King slipped a clever pass through to Dennis, who jinked past Craig Dawson inside the box before rifling a brilliant strike past goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski.

With that, the 24-year-old now boasts eight goals for the Hornets in the English top-flight this season, surpassing his best tally in a single campaign (seven).

Also, the former Club Brugge star’s effort was Watford’s earliest goal from the start of a Premier League match since November 2019 against Norwich City (01:16), and earliest at Vicarage Road in the competition since May 2018 vs Newcastle (01:58).

In addition, only Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah (24) has been directly involved in more English elite division goals this season than Dennis (13 - 8 goals, 5 assists).

It is worthy of note that the Yola-born striker has either scored or assisted 59% of Watford's 22 league goals in this campaign.

Notwithstanding the Hornets’ fine start, they leaked four goals through Tomas Soucek, Said Benrahma, Mark Noble and Nikola Vlasic to slump before their home fans.

Dennis was in action from start to finish alongside Adam Masina, while William Troost-Ekong was not listed for the encounter by manager Ranieri.

Morocco international Imran Louza was introduced for Kiko in the 40th minute, whereas, Peter Etebo, Ismaila Sarr, Ghana prospect Kwadwo Baah and Cameroon’s Nicolas Nkoulou were not considered for selection due to injury worries.

Dennis’ form (five goals in six league matches) will be a welcome development for coach Augustine Eguavoen who picked the striker as one of his 28-man squad for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations billed for Cameroon.

Alongside Troost-Ekong, he is expected to join the rest of the Super Eagles squad for the biennial African football showpiece which begins in January.

The three-time African champions begin their quest for glory against Egypt on January 11 in Garoua.