Liverpool have a number of loanees currently plying their trade across Europe, and although many of them are unlikely to be playing regular Premier League football anytime soon, the large majority have been able to get some valuable minutes under their belts.
The Merseyside club have sent a clutch of youngsters to Germany this year with Nathaniel Phillips and Marko Grujic loaned to Stuttgart and Hertha Berlin respectively, whilst Taiwo Awoniyi has also been enjoying a rewarding spell at Mainz 05.
56′: Taiwo Awoniyi comes on
61′: Taiwo Awoniyi scores
A first Bundesliga goal for the Liverpool loanee as he pulls one back for Mainz. pic.twitter.com/NVyajjvkFn
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) May 17, 2020
The 22-year-old forward had been struggling to make an impact for the 05ers, although he finally managed to get off the mark against FC Koln in mid-May. Coming off the bench, he took just five minutes to find the back of the net, with his 56th-minute strike helping the relegation-threatened side to pick up a vital point in their battle for survival.
Having lost just two of their last seven Bundesliga encounters, Achim Beierlorzer’s side now have a three-point cushion over the bottom three, and have drifted out to 9/1 in the latest Bundesliga odds to slip into the second tier.
Despite being handed a start against Hoffenheim at the end of May, Awoniyi was unable to add to his tally. He had a goal disallowed at the Opel Arena, and could only watch as his team-mates wasted numerous chances to take the lead.
Awoniyi has a positive outlook, and has always believed in his own ability, however, it is likely to take something special to break into Jurgen Klopp’s starting XI. Although he hasn’t been a guaranteed starter this season, he’s relished the opportunity to test himself in one of Europe’s major leagues and has been widely praised by the club’s management. Liverpool’s development team are also reportedly happy with his progress, although another loan spell next season looks inevitable.
He is clearly highly thought of at Melwood and he signed a new long-term deal with the Premier League outfit following his successful spell at Royal Excel Mouscron. He’s also spent time in the Netherlands at NEC Nijmegen, and has previous Bundesliga experience with Eintracht Frankfurt.
He’ll be hoping that his performances in Rhineland-Palatinate have caught the eye of Super Eagles boss Gernot Rohr. Having represented his country at U23 level on a couple of occasions, and having also scored a brace which helped send Nigeria into the final four of the Under-17 World Cup, Awoniyi certainly looks to be a future International in the making. He played alongside Kelechi Iheanacho and Isaac Success at the youth level and will be hoping to follow in their footsteps.
Since leaving the Imperial Soccer Academy in 2015, Awoniyi has spent the majority of his time outside of the UK. However, he’ll be hoping that his experience in the German top flight can finally help him break into Liverpool’s match-day squad, although he may be limited to the occasional EFL Cup outing. With enough experience, he should be able to earn a UK work permit via the appeals process, and although he is unlikely to displace Roberto Firmino or Sadio Mane anytime soon, he could certainly provide another option from the bench.
Liverpool loanee Taiwo Awoniyi played 90 minutes for Mainz today in their 2-0 away win against Eintracht Frankfurt.
Becoming an important figure in their relegation battle now. pic.twitter.com/vZZwKBrIVk
— Anfield Edition (@AnfieldEdition) June 6, 2020
Premier League loanees rarely relish the prospect of being pitched straight into a relegation battle, however, Taiwo Awoniyi is savoring every single moment. He’s working hard to improve his game, and having scored his first goal in red and white, he’s clearly hungry to kick on and help Mainz 05 preserve their Bundesliga status this season.
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