Is Emmanuel Dennis paying the price for his reputation?

The Nigerian international is still stuck at Vicarage Road almost two months into the transfer window.

Emmanuel Dennis is still at Watford despite his brilliant debut season in the Premier League

Emmanuel Dennis' current situation in this transfer window is a surprising one. The Nigerian was one of the players tipped to leave Watford following the Hornets' relegation from the Premier League last season.

Dennis had joined Watford from Club Brugge for £3m last summer. He arrived at the club with doubts surrounding his ability following a frustrating six-month loan stint with FC Cologne.

However, Dennis allayed those fears and cleared doubts, scoring and providing an assist on his Premier League debut. Dennis continued in the same vein throughout the campaign, finishing with ten goals and six assists.

He had a hand in over 45% of Watford's goals in the Premier League last season. But following Watford's relegation, Dennis was among the players tipped to get a move to a club in the topflight.

However, two months into the transfer window, the Nigerian is still with Watford, which is baffling, considering he did not have to wait for this long when he did not have any leverage.

Aside from rumours linking him with a move to Everton and Newcastle, there has been no news about Dennis on the transfer front.

While there are a lot of factors that could be in play, Dennis' reputation may be the reason he is still at Watford. Although he never got into trouble at Watford last season, Dennis is known for getting into controversies.

Since breaking onto the world stage at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2019, the 24-year-old has been involved in several controversial situations.

While at Club Brugge, he got involved in trouble with the club after walking off the team boss ahead of their trip to Dortmund for a Champions League match. Dennis allegedly walked off because he was not allowed to sit in his favourite seat.

The Super Eagles star was later suspended for a game and fined after the incident. But Dennis' career at Club Brugge never picked up after the situation. He got into another trouble with the Belgian police for overspeeding. With his career on a downward curve in Belgium, Dennis was offered an opportunity by Cologne, who took him on a six-month loan deal.

However, it was an opportunity Dennis never took, and one Cologne regretted they gave him.

Ex-Cologne Sporting Director Horst Heldt said he regretted signing Dennis. The German added he was aware of Dennis' attitude but took a gamble on him.

"He's not an easy guy," Heldt said about Dennis.

"We knew about this problem, but we took too much risk. We misjudged that.

"Dennis caused a stir because his behaviour was not what the squad needs to be doing. We then dropped him because our priority was the group.

"That was a bad transfer, and that is my responsibility," Heldt added.

Although Dennis fired back at Heldt, it's hard to argue that his attitude is not an issue.

And while he was not involved in any controversial incident in his first season at Watford, question marks remain on his behaviour, which could be why clubs are weighing their options before making a move for him.

For all of Dennis' talents, it is his petulant attitude that has grabbed the headlines in recent years, and that is not what a coach wants for his squad.

While his action may not be excessive like Mario Balotelli, a coach still does not want a player who sulks anytime he does not have his way.

Dennis will be a valuable addition to any mid-table club, but these clubs may choose to avoid him because of his history at previous clubs.

It is not only at his clubs that Dennis' attitude has been called into questioning. The 24-year-old reportedly also had a disagreement with former Super Eagles coach Gernot Rohr over the German's decision to play him on the wings. His withdrawal from the Super Eagles 2021 Africa Cup of Nations squad also incurred the wrath of Nigerians.

With all these controversies surrounding him, coaches may decide he is not worth the hassle that will come with acquiring his services.

Given he is also expected to cost a decent amount of money, clubs may be looking for a cheaper option. Dennis will likely cost potential suitors around £20m as he still has four years on his contract with Watford.

And for a player with just one season in the Premier League and a lot of baggage, clubs may consider him to be an expensive gamble.

Nonetheless, there are still two months left in the transfer window, which is enough time for him to move to a new club.

However, if Dennis fails to leave Watford this summer after the brilliant season, it could be because he is paying the price for his reputation.

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