Emmanuel Dennis Excluded From The Nigeria's Team For The AFCON Due To Late Call-Up... Claudio Ranieri Explains.

Watford coach, Claudio Ranieri has explained that the decision of Emmanuel Dennis to pull out of the squad of the Nigeria's Super Eagles squad team with less than 9-days to go for the commencement if AFCON tournament in Cameroon.

Ranieri had revealed on Tuesday after their fixture against West Ham that Dennis letter of invitation from the Nigeria Football Federation reached the club late, and Watford and the NFF were in an ongoing discussion over the release of Dennis.

“I’m not so sure I’ll miss Dennis now and if he goes to the national team, we have to wait,” said Ranieri, via The Athletic.

“The email didn’t arrive at the right moment. The national team has time to send a pre-call. They didn’t respect the days, and I want to see.

“The email arrived late. “They have a time when they need to send a pre-call; if they don’t send it, we can choose.”

Asked whether Watford had disrespected AFCON following the withdrawal of Dennis, Ranieri said: “No. Nigeria have a lot of players and they changed the manager.

“We were ready. We know we were ready to give them players, but they didn’t do this.

“The two boards spoke and then for me it is okay. I am only the manager, only the coach, and I accept everything. Now I speak with Dennis, but of course he wanted to go and play. But also he wants to help Watford.

“I accept the decision of the board and the Nigeria team. We respect everybody. I knew they were speaking, the Watford board and the Nigeria board. I accept every decision they find. For me, it is finished.”

Emmanuel Dennis was added to Nigeria’s 28 man squad for AFCON 2021 by interim boss Austin Eguavoen after being left out during the qualifier games.

The 24-year-old is arguably the best signing of the season so far since joining Watford from Club Brugge in June for €4million. He had spent of of last season on-loan to FC Köln in Germany.

He is currently Watford top-scorer across all competition this season, scoring eight goals and five assists in just 18 appearances this season. 

Dennis made his debut for the Super Eagles of Nigeria on September 10, 2019, and has made just three appearances with no goals yet.

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