Friday Dec 31, 2021. 10:00
The Nigeria Football Federation is hopeful that Watford will release Emmanuel Dennis for the Africa Cup of Nations next month.
The 24-year-old striker was named in the Super Eagles squad announced last week for the tournament in Cameroon, which runs from January 9 to February 6.
However, comments from Hornets head coach Claudio Ranieri after his side’s 4-1 defeat to West Ham on Tuesday suggested the Premier League club may prevent Dennis from representing his country in the 33rd edition of AFCON.
The Hertfordshire outfit is disputing the date on which they were notified of the player’s inclusion in the Nigerian squad, with Ranieri claiming the NFF didn’t follow protocol.
“I’m not so sure I’ll miss [Dennis] now, I don’t know if he goes,” the Italian said. “The national team has a time to send their precall, they don’t respect the days and I want to see very well.
“I know the email arrived late and I want to know everything. The national team has a time, during this time they have to send the precall, if they don’t send the precall, we can choose.”
Watford are fighting for survival in English football’s top flight and Dennis, who has scored eight goals in 16 appearances this season, could miss important matches against Leicester, Newcastle, Norwich and West Ham if he participates at AFCON 2021.