We like Taiwo Awoniyi at Sport Witness, mostly because we’ve followed his career since he signed for Liverpool from the Imperial Academy in 2015 through his loans abroad, and he seems like a really nice guy.
Determined to prove himself and end up playing regularly at Anfield, the Nigerian forward is currently on loan at Royal Excel Mouscron in Belgium where he’s started to make a name for himself.
The 20-year-old has scored 10 goals and assisted his teammates seven times in 31 appearances, stats that have caught the attention of a number of clubs in the Jupiler Pro League, including Anderlecht, Club Brugge, Gent and Antwerp.
While Gent would prefer a loan from Liverpool next season, Anderlecht and Club Brugge are thinking about a permanent transfer, eyeing up a potential profit down the line if he continues to develop as he has this season.
However, speaking to Sport/Foot, Vincent Mannaert, Brugge’s general director knows that will be difficult, especially since the Reds want to extend Awoniyi’s current deal.
He said: “He belongs to [Liverpool], it’s all on them. [The renewal idea] is proof they believe he has qualities, and we can’t exactly rival them…”
Even if he is enjoying his Liverpool wages, the young striker wouldn’t be completely against a transfer if it meant he ended up playing in a European competition next season.
But if Liverpool pull out the chequebook and give him a new contract, that’s his priority, since his dream is to one day play in the Premier League.
First, however, he needs to get a work permit, and that means getting into the Nigeria squad to get international caps.
If that means going out on loan until it happens, so be it, such is his drive to make it in England.
As Mouscron’s director of football, Jürgen Röber, explained: “Taiwo wants to 1000% become a Premier League player. Everything is so clear in his head. It’s his dream and he’ll achieve it.”
We’ll have to wait and see if he does that through sheer persistence and loans at Liverpool or via a transfer elsewhere to then return to England a few years later.
Either way, keep an eye out for him, because you might end up seeing a whole lot more of Taiwo Awoniyi in a few years time if he gets his way.