Emmanuel Dennis, de querer ser sacerdote a goleador

Emmanuel Dennis, de querer ser sacerdote a goleador

La zona baja de la Premier League es como esa mina en la que hay que picar muy hondo para llegar al diamante, y más en el caso del Watford. El recién ascendido lleva 4 partidos consecutivos sin conocer la victoria, y ya coquetea con los puestos de descenso. Pero como todo en la vida, a todo lo malo hay que buscarle el lado bueno, y Emmanuel Dennis es lo único que brilla en unos «hornets» con un devenir muy pero que muy oscuro.

La historia del nigeriano es muy peculiar, ya que él no soñaba con ser futbolista, pues su deseo era ser sacerdote. Quién le diría a Emmanuel que acabaría jugando en una de las mejores ligas del mundo. Cuando menos lo esperas, la vida te pone en tu sitio, y a Dennis con 24 años lo ha puesto como atacante estrella en Vicarage Road.

 

Papá, quiero ser sacerdote

Emmanuel era el más pequeño de dos hermanos, y como todos los niños, disfrutaba del fútbol callejero en las calles de su Abuya natal. En su caso, no destacaba por encima de los demás y tenía un nivel parecido a ellos, jugaba para pasarlo bien y no para perseguir un futuro como futbolista. Creció en los barrios bajos de su ciudad, dándole poco valor a los lujos que pudiera tener. Evidentemente, quería labrarse un futuro y comenzar a ser independiente, pero su sueño era ser sacerdote católico.

Así lo admitió en una entrevista en el canal de la UEFA Champions League, relatando que de pequeño el fútbol no le atraía en exceso y decidió buscar otros caminos. Todo cambió cuando jugando al fútbol la gente le comenzó a decir, «oye, no se te da mal, podrías jugar a esto en un nivel más alto», entonces Emmanuel decidió trabajar para ello y acabó consiguiéndolo.

Nadie hubiera imaginado que años después iba a conquistar el Santiago Bernabéu o el Estadio Luis II en la competición de clubes más importante del mundo. Dennis se labró un camino que no estaba escrito para él, y hoy en día es uno de los jugadores más importantes del Watford.

 

 

Un brujo llega a Vicarage Road

Tras un paso muy difuso por la Bundesliga, donde tan solo jugó 9 partidos y dejó una imagen muy fría, el Watford se interesó en él para su proyecto de recién ascendido. Para los «hornets» no es extraño acudir a jugadores de origen africano, su equipo de captación se fija mucho en ellos y los claros ejemplos de ello son Ismaila Sarr, Peter Etebo, Imran Louza, Nicolas Nkoulou y William Troost-Ekong. Emmanuel Dennis sería uno más en esta lista de la Yellow Army.

Su impacto en el equipo se hizo notar desde el primer momento. Debutó en Premier League ante el Aston Villa y dejó 1 gol y 1 asistencia que le servirían al Watford para sumar 3 puntos. Con Xisco Muñoz en el banquillo tuvo el cartel de titular desde el primer día, pero la directiva del club decidió cesar al español.

Llegaría Claudio Ranieri, y Dennis se tuvo que ganar su confianza a base de trabajo, y en los tres primeros partidos del técnico italiano pasó de ser titular a quedarse fuera de la convocatoria. Tras ese toque de atención, Dennis volvería a la titularidad y a demostrar que es una pieza fundamental en el equipo. 2 goles y 2 asistencias en el mes de noviembre lo coronaron como jugador del mes del Watford.

Diciembre ha sido muy diferente para el club, encadena tres derrotas y deja muchas dudas sobre el césped. La única luz entre tanta sombra es el nigeriano, que mantiene el espíritu goleador del equipo con 2 tantos en los 3 partidos disputados.

 

¿Cómo juega Emmanuel Dennis?

Una bala por banda y un puñal cuando juega en el centro, así se puede definir a Emmanuel Dennis. Un jugador potente, físico y con una punta de velocidad al alcance de muy pocos. Es uno de esos futbolistas que cuando tiene la pelota en los pies, hace disfrutar al aficionado.

Contribuye tanto ofensiva como defensivamente durante 90 minutos. Otra de sus grandes virtudes es la finalización, a la hora de embolsar la pelota en la red muestra una compostura y una tranquilidad digna de un buen goleador. Un jugador explosivo, físico y potente que llegó desde Nigeria para ser grande en Europa.

A principio de temporada su expected goals era de 3’9, una cifra que ha pulverizado en cuestión de pocos meses. 7 goles lo hacen el máximo goleador de su equipo, y 5 asistencias le hacen liderar también este apartado. Ha mostrado sus virtudes y ha mejorado sus iniquidades, siendo ya objeto de deseo de varios equipos grandes de Inglaterra.

Emmanuel Dennis, con su historia, nos ha demostrado que muchas veces el camino que parece equivocado puede conducirte hasta el correcto.

 

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