June 23, 2021

Awoniyi: Liverpool loanee would not trade regular football for top European club

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The 22-year-old Nigerian forward is yet to feature for the Anfield outfit since teaming up with the side five years ago

On-loan Liverpool striker Taiwo Awoniyi has revealed he would not trade regular football for any top European club.

The 22-year-old forward joined the Reds in the summer of 2015 from Nigeria‘s Imperial Academy but has not played a single game for the Premier League side.

The Nigerian striker has spent his time with the Anfield outfit on loan due to his inability to secure a work permit in England.

The forward spent his sixth loan spell at German Bundesliga side Mainz in the 2019-20 season, having also featured temporary for FSV Frankfurt, NEC, Royal Excel Mouscron and Gent.  

Awoniyi, who praised Liverpool’s success under Jurgen Klopp, hopes to get a chance in the side in the future but explains that playing regularly is the most paramount to him.

“Liverpool is a great and family club. I feel very proud to say I am part of that family. From the outside looking in, you can see a lot has changed within the club and it has influenced how people see Liverpool,” Awoniyi told BBC Sport.

“The manager [Klopp] is admired and respected by a lot of people. You can see the impact he has made at the club. The league title reflects his ethics, the work the whole team from the staff to the players have put together and it is very well deserved.

“Growing up I followed the league on television. There’s just a different ethos at the club that experts now see Liverpool as one of the favourites for the title every season.

“It would definitely be great to be a part of the success but honestly, I would rather be where I am playing more and in a team that I can earn the medal of my own that I honestly worked for.

“It sounds a bit odd but that is the truth. To be compensated for not making any contribution is not fair.”

Awoniyi suffered a concussion after receiving a blow do the head during Mainz’s 1-0 defeat to Augsburg in June and spent a night at the hospital.

The Nigeria U23 striker appreciated God who speared his life and also thanked referee Marco Fritz for stepping in, in the situation.

“I can never underestimate the impact of faith on my life and career. God used the referee [Marco Fritz] on the pitch before they took me to the hospital,” he continued.

“I fell awkwardly and that image scared a lot of people including my family and friends, but the quick intervention of the referee and medics from both clubs was swift.

“Most significantly, I recovered remarkably quickly and it was a moment of deep reflection about God when I left the hospital.

“Faith means everything to me; I put it above football and faith provides one possible explanation as to why we are all here and alive.”

Awoniyi has returned to Liverpool after his loan deal with Mainz ended but could again be sent on another loan as he is yet to secure a work permit.