LIVERPOOL manager Jurgen Klopp has opted against sending Nigerian striker Taiwo Awoniyi out on loan over the forthcoming season retaining him as a member of his squad for the current campaign for now.
Awoniyi, 23, joined Liverpool in August 2015 and every season has been sent out on loan to enable him get playing time with a hope that he will eventually be ready for Liverpool. Awoniyi spent last season at German Bundesliga aide Mainz 05 where he made 12 league appearances, scoring one goal.
Following the restart of the league after the coronavirus lockdown, however, Awoniyi appeared to be in fine form but unfortunately he was hospitalised in June after sustaining a severe concussion during a 1–0 loss to FC Augsburg. Having read glowing reports of the striker’s form, Mr Klopp has decided to take a gamble on him over the coming season and Awoniyi is now training with the Liverpool first team.
Celtic, Stuttgart and Mainz are all said to be interested in Awoniyi but for now, he is training with Liverpool. Unless a satisfactory offer comes in, the striker could be given a squad number and be a part of the Liverpool team for the 2020/21 season which kicks off today, with Liverpool getting their title defence underway at home against Leeds United.
During the 2018/19 season, Awoniyi played in the Belgian league where he was Mouscron’s top scorer with 10 goals in all competitions but unfortunately did not get as much playing time with Mainz in Germany. Awoniyi featured in Nigeria’s 2013 U-17 World Cup winning team, scoring four goals during the tournament and also represented Nigeria at the 2015 Fifa U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.
With Mr Klopp deciding to retain him for now, Awoniyi could be on the team sheet at Anfield today when Liverpool host Leeds. Across Europe, the transfer window closes on October 5 but domestic-only transfers will be allowed until October 16 and if no one comes in for Awoniyi by then, Liverpool may have to apply for a work permit for the striker.