Super Eagles vice-captain Troost-Ekong, Etebo, Dennis get former Chelsea manager as Watford boss

The three Nigerian internationals saw the departure of Spanish tactician Xisco Munoz recently, but they welcome the arrival of a well-travelled coach

Watford FC have hired former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri as their new head coach, following the sacking of Spaniard Xisco Munoz on Sunday. 

Ranieri will immediately take charge of a Watford side with three Super Eagles stars in William Troost-Ekong, Oghenekaro Etebo, and Emmanuel Dennis.

In a statement on the club’s official website, Watford confirmed that the former AS Roma gaffer had inked a contract to keep him at Vicarage Road until 2023.

“The Watford FC is delighted to announce the appointment of Claudio Ranieri as the new coach of the club, with a two-year contract.

“The Italian arrives at Vicarage Road boasting extensive experience at the helm of some of the biggest clubs in Europe, with Premier League, Coppa Italia, and Copa del Rey titles among its highlights.”

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With Troost-Ekong on the way to teaming up with the Super Eagles ahead of the World Cup qualifiers against the Central African Republic and Etebo out injured, Dennis will be among the first Hornets’ stars to train under a manager who famously won the 2015-16 Premier League with Leicester City. 

A well-travelled tactician, Ranieri has coached in France, Italy, Spain, and England, managing Monaco, Roma, Valencia, and Fulham, among several others.

The Italian was in charge at Chelsea between 2000 and 2004 when former Nigerian international Celestine Babayaro was still with the Stamford Bridge giants.

Ranieri’s immediate task will be to improve the fortunes of a Watford side that sits 14th on the EPL table after taking seven points from seven games.

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Watford’s first match with their new manager in charge will be at home against Liverpool after the international break.

The 69-year-old coach can count on a wealth of experience, with Watford being his 21st club in a 35-year managerial career.