Taiwo Awoniyi has had seven loan spells since signing for Liverpool in 2015, but after finally being granted a work permit, the striker is ready to make an impact in English football
Taiwo Awoniyi is ready to shine for Liverpool and is “equal to the task” of leading the line for Jurgen Klopp’s men.
That’s the view of Awoniyi’s compatriot and former Nigerian international Tijani Babangida, who thinks now is the time for the striker to be given a chance by his parent club.
Initially signed in 2015 from Nigeria’s Imperial Academy, the 23-year-old has been unable to gain a work permit in the United Kingdom and has thus never played a game for the Reds.
Awoniyi has been on seven loan spells since his transfer to Liverpool, with his most recent coming in the Bundesliga with Union Berlin.
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With Union, Awoniyi managed to score five goals in 20 games, although his campaign was blighted by a series of frustrating injuries.
Earlier this month, he was finally granted a permit, meaning he could be included in Liverpool’s squad next season.
Despite a lack of experience at the top level, the player is said to be keen to test himself at the highest level.
“It’s been a long process but finally [Taiwo] Awoniyi can now focus on his career either at Liverpool or somewhere in England,” an official at Imperial Academy told BBC Africa last week.
“He has the ambition to play in the Premier League and hopefully he can do that next season.”
And Babngida, who made 35 appearances for the Super Eagles during his playing days, believes his style would suit the type of football played by Liverpool under Klopp.
“For Taiwo, I believe that [his work permit] is good news,” Babangida told Tribalfootball.com.
“Congratulations. We can’t wait for him to start playing for Liverpool.
“The football in Liverpool is to always locate the striker and I think Taiwo is equal to the task.
“He should stay and fight for his place in Liverpool, not just to be a Liverpool player, always on loan to some clubs in Europe.”
The Athletic have recently reported that Liverpool intend to cash in on Awoniyi, after his performances in the German top-flight earned him admirers across Europe.
Liverpool have already signed Ibrahima Konate from RB Leipzig, for a fee of around £35million.
However, for any further arrivals, it is likely that the Reds will need to sell before they buy, with a number of players on the periphery of Klopp’s squad up for sale.
The likes of Marko Grujic, Ben Woodburn, Loris Karius, Sheyi Ojo, Liam Millar could also be sanctioned for transfers away from Anfield.
Meanwhile, Xherdan Shaqiri, Takumi Minamino and Divock Origi could be granted exits, although Klopp is happy to keep them all as depth options behind his first-choice forward players.