Nigerian Taiwo Awoniyi ready to trade Liverpool dream for club stability
Nigeria striker Taiwo Awoniyi, who doubts he will ever play for Liverpool, was looking to move away from Anfield for good in the recent transfer window, he told ESPN.
Awoniyi signed for the Reds in 2015, but an inability to get a work permit means he’s been on loan every season for the past five years.
The 23-year-old is currently on loan at FC Union Berlin, after previous stints at FSV Frankfurt, NEC, Mouscron (twice) and Ghent. Last season he was in Mainz.
A number of factors combined to deny Awoniyi the opportunity to obtain the required number of international selections to obtain his license. Odion Ighalo’s goals scored, Victor Osimhen’s outstanding performances, not to mention his own instability at club level, all combined to derail his chances.
So, five years and seven loan deals later, Awoniyi says that even though he loves Liverpool, he doesn’t know if he will ever play for the club.
“It’s my dream to play for Liverpool,” he told ESPN. “But for me, playing for Liverpool is tied to getting my work permit.
“Without that there is no way for me to discuss playing for Liverpool just yet.”
As a result, he discussed the permanent estrangement from Anfield during the last window.
He said: “Maybe this season has been a bit difficult to take because honestly I was hoping to leave for good.
“Liverpool have been great, they have supported me so much and we always talk to the director and every time they tell me to be patient.
“But the reason I discussed something permanent this season was just that I felt that most of the loans I was loaned to weren’t quite the way I wanted them to be.
“And I felt like it was like that because the players on loan have less advantage than the players at their own club.
“That’s what made me think, okay maybe it’s time to find a house with my family.”
Awoniyi says the constant movement each season – sometimes in the midst of the football campaign – takes its toll on her young family.
He explained: “It’s something very difficult, I have to admit. I remembered when I came back from Ghent to Mouscron, I had to put my things in my car, with my wife.
“It was totally difficult and getting into a new environment, meeting different players every year, a different system, a different atmosphere, it asks a lot of you because what you meet there is totally different from what you meet elsewhere. “
He admits, however, that the various experiences have helped him become a better player: “It’s really what makes me who I am today because you meet different people that you learn with.
“And with the clubs I’ve been to, different coaches, really experienced, you learn a lot from them and every year you gain something to add to your game. I think that’s what structures me to be who. I am now. “
Last weekend Awoniyi scored his first goal in six games for the Union. He followed up with an assist this Saturday against Eintracht Frankfurt as the Union continues to fly high in the Bundesliga.
It was a goal that meant a lot to him and that made him enthusiastic: “Every striker wants to score. I am a player who also wants to work for the team. And what makes the work you do on the pitch count is when you score the goals.
“The first three games I started I really worked a lot and everyone was impressed. Some of my teammates felt really bad because I hadn’t scored before.
“Achieving that goal was really something that gave me the joy that it finally happened. But now I just have to forget about it and look forward to the next one.”