Emmanuel Dennis has adapted quickly to life in the Premier League since arriving at Watford over the summer. His seven goals already this season have seen him establish a great relationship with supporters at Vicarage Road – although the Nigerian international did recently admit that he was once a massive Arsenal fan.
According to Dennis’ agent, the Gunners were among English several clubs interested in signing the pacey frontman from Club Brugge last year.
However, the Belgian club reportedly wanted around £25 million for the player – a demand that scuppered the chance of any deal at the time.
Ultimately, with Dennis’ contract swiftly winding down at Brugge, Watford were able to swoop in and sign him for just £3.4m in June.
Given that only Liverpool’s Mo Salah can better Dennis’ 12 goal involvements this season, it’s fair to assume that many sides around Europe would happily pay in excess of that £25m asking price now – including Arsenal.
Dennis appears to have no regrets about a move to the Emirates not panning out, though, revealing to Sky Sports that he had to abandon his once passionate support for the north London club for the sake of his mental health.
“I used to be an Arsenal fan,” shared Dennis. “I like Cesc Fabregas. But I’m no more an Arsenal fan. I was so much into Arsenal sometimes I could cry when they lose. That wasn’t good for me.
“So I was like, ‘nah, I’m going to stick to myself and don’t care much because it’s not good for my health’. It’s just me and myself right now.”
Arsenal last won the Premier League title 17 years ago – and haven’t looked like realistic challengers in years, finishing no higher than fifth in any of the last five seasons.
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The recent past has been rough on Gunners fans, with little indication that the club’s fortunes are going to turn around anytime soon. Dennis’ words certainly seemed to ring true with many Arsenal fans on Reddit.
“This hits a little too close to home,” admitted one supporter.
“He suffered just like us,” wrote a second.
“I went through periods like this,” shared another. “I did promise myself I wouldn’t keep letting them ruin my weekend. Leaving isn’t an option, but I do relate.”
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After learning of his past affection for Arsenal, others chose to focus on the possibility of eventually signing him.
“Bring the lad home to suffer with us,” suggested one comment.
“The last Dennis we had kinda worked out okay. Let’s give it a shot, agreed a final reply – referring to Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp.
Ironically, when Dennis’ Watford visited the Emirates last month, Arsenal recorded a 1-0 victory. Mikel Arteta’s have lost three of their four games since, however.