Nigeria: Taiwo Awoniyi – Premier League Return in the Offing
Despite an impressive season with Union Berlin, scoring 16 goals in 35 matches, Taiwo Awoniyi would still jump at any opportunity to return to England having failed to play once for Liverpool. With Newcastle, West Ham and Southampton probing, the Nigerian may cash-in on the opportunity for a return to the Premier League
Super Eagles striker, Taiwo Awoniyi is being courted by Premier League clubs and has become the subject of a £25m move.
According to GOAL, the former Liverpool attacker’s splendid performances at Union Berlin is catching the eye in England and he may be making a move pretty soon if the money is deemed too good to be rejected.
West Ham, Southampton and Newcastle have been listed as potential destinations for the attacker who was on Liverpool’s books for six years without kicking a ball.
He went on seven loan spells and the last was a major stint as he did enough to convince the capital club to splash £6.5m to tie him down.
Union are a selling club and may listen to offers if it’s good for them. They sold Awoniyi’s strike partner Max Kruse to Wolfsburg in the January transfer window and may consider letting Awoniyi go as a decent option too.
Awoniyi joined Liverpool in 2015 as an 18-year-old but didn’t play as he didn’t have a work permit.
The attacker has scored 16 goals in 35 games since he joined Union Berlin.
He has become a full Nigerian international since then, representing the country in a major tournament earlier in the year and such issues will not be faced again.
Meanwhile, Liverpool could be set for a multi-million pound windfall this summer thanks to former Reds striker Awoniyi. The Nigerian left Anfield to join Union Berlin on a permanent basis in a £6.5m deal last summer and has been flourishing in Germany, gaining reported interest from Premier League clubs in the process.
The striker has scored 16 goals this season, including 11 from 24 Bundesliga appearances and four in the inaugural Europa Conference League. With Union Berlin currently ninth in the Bundesliga table, six points off the top six and European places, he’ll be hoping to retain such form to help his club again qualify for Europe.
Such form has seen the 24-year-old capped by Nigeria, with him even scoring in January’s Africa Cup of Nations as the Super Eagles suffered a round-of-16 exit. It also earned him January interest from VfL Wolfsburg as they looked to replace Wout Weghorst, according to Kicker, though Awoniyi rejected their advances in order to stay put at Union Berlin, having also snubbed them down the previous summer when leaving Anfield.
But it could be a different story for the striker this summer, with West Ham United, Southampton and Newcastle United all said to be interested and considering making a move at the end of the season.
Meanwhile, he is said to be keen to prove himself in England, having never had that opportunity while at Liverpool after joining them in a £400k deal in 2015.
Awoniyi never made an appearance during his time with the Reds, having failed to gain a work permit as he instead was sent on a series of loans. However, he was granted one before joining Union Berlin. And now as a Nigeria international, would hope to be granted one again if any of the trio did follow up their interest.
And if the striker did make a further move, Liverpool would be certain to profit after negotiating a 10 per cent sell-on clause in the deal taking him back to the Bundesliga on a permanent basis. Such a clause would entitle the Reds to a small percentage of any profit Union Berlin made when selling the striker.
So, if Awoniyi returned to the Premier League in a £25m move, Union Berlin would make an £18.5m profit on their initial purchase with Liverpool receiving £1.85m as a result. After banking £6.5m when selling him last summer, it would see the overall value of the transfer rise to £8.35m – nearly £8m more than the Reds spent on him in the first place seven years ago. Not bad for a player who never even played for the club!
Should Awoniyi continue scoring for fun, the price could rise further.
Either way, Reds bosses will watch on with interest and continue to include such sell-on clauses in transfer deals when selling players, ensuring they will continue to profit long after the initial ink has dried.