ENGLISH Premier League leaders Liverpool are planning to recall Nigerian striker Taiwo Awoniyi from his loan spell at Bundesliga side Mainz during the current transfer window in response to the fact that he is not seeing enough action in Germany.
Awoniyi, 22, was a member of Nigeria’s U17 World Cup winning squad in 2013 and was signed by Liverpool on August 31 2015 but has since been sent out on loans to several clubs. Last season, the lanky striker played in the Belgian league where he was Mouscron’s top scorer with 10 goals in all competitions and at the start of the current campaign, he was loaned out to Mainz in Germany.
However, he has struggled for game time with the Bundesliga side, so Liverpool are assessing offers from other clubs across Europe. So far this season, Awoniyi has made just six appearances for the Bundesliga strugglers, starting just one match, during which he was substituted at half time.
With Jean-Philippe Mateta, Mainz’s main striker, having returned to action just before the winter break, it is anticipated that Awoniyi will find it even harder to get regular football in the second half of the campaign. Liverpool have the option to terminate the loan agreement but will not do so unless a clear opportunity for game-time arises at another club when they can send the striker to.
So far, there has not been a shortage of interest, with Greek giants Olympiacos among those keen on Awoniyi. Also, the French Ligue One trio of Montpellier, Brest and Nimes are also understood to be monitoring the situation, while Turkish outfit Besiktas and La Liga duo Leganes and Real Mallorca have also made enquiries.
Liverpool intend to meet with interested parties in the coming days but are aware that Awoniyi would ideally prefer to remain in Germany. Mainz return to league action at home to Freiburg on Saturday but the expectation at Anfield is that Awoniyi is unlikely to remain at the club until the end of the season.