Record Signing Taiwo ‘Ready For It’ At Forest

From winning an MVP award at a junior competition as a kid whilst playing in London to lifting a World Cup winners medal with Nigeria at U17 level, Taiwo Awoniyi’s rise to fame has still not stopped growing, following his record move to Nottingham Forest of a reported £17m from Union Berlin.

Awoniyi is a big, quick, powerful and skilful striker that might be seen as a permanent replacement for Keinan Davis who did so well for the club on loan from Aston Villa last season, in that the former Liverpool Academy youngster, who knows Steve Cooper from his time at Anfield and Melwood in the youth team, is a target man of the modern era, boasting an all round game designed to give defenders a real hard time and bring others into play whilst grabbing the headlines with his own goal contributions too.

At Union Berlin last season, the much travelled 24-year-old scored fifteen goals in the Bundesliga as the second biggest team in the capital city missed out on Champions League qualification by just one point.

Pivotal in that superb campaign where they stood tall against their relegation threatened cross city rivals Hertha, the impressive Awoniyi became a Reds target following promotion to the Premier League for Forest, and the club have acted quickly to snap up his services ahead of the 2022/23 campaign. The clubs first back in the top flight since 1999.

Awoniyi said upon signing “I feel very happy to be here. Looking at the project, it’s something I’m really looking forward to. What stood out about Forest were the meetings with the Head Coach and the discussions we had. I can see how ambitious and dedicated he is to his job. My dream is to always keep working and I see him as a person who I can develop under.”

Awoniyi started out at Liverpool in 2015 and was immediately loaned out to FSV Frankfurt where he played in the Bundesliga 2.

He joined NEC on loan in the Netherlands and Mouscron, and Gent in Belgium, before a short spell at Mainz, led to him joining Union Berlin, where in 65 games he scored 25 goals.

An Olympian with Nigeria, he also helped his nation to winning the U20 Africa Cup of Nations following making history with the Super Eagles at under 17 level where they lifted the 2013 World Cup, Awoniyi partnering Leicester City’s Kelechi Iheanacho in attack in the final where they beat Mexico 3-0 in UAE.

Ever since, the boy has grown in quality and stature to a man and the player himself fits the mould requested by Head Coach Steve Cooper, for a stylish centre forward that can cause opponents problems with pace, power and goalscoring prowess.

Cooper stating upon signing the player for the club “There’s been a lot of interest in Taiwo from other Premier League clubs, and other clubs across Europe, so we’re delighted that he’s chosen Nottingham Forest.

“Our recruitment and coaching teams have been monitoring his progress closely over the last few months. He’s a player who we really believe in and we look forward to him going on to fulfil his potential and become a top Premier League striker with Nottingham Forest.”

Taiwo himself still says he’s looking to develop into a better player and believes a club with the history of Forest will allow him to do that, stating “When I look at Forest and look at the history of the club, it’s more about the team. This is the kind of place I love to belong to and I am ready for it.

“Every striker wants to score goals, but I’m ready to work for the team, to fight for every ball, to win every challenge, that’s my style and that’s what I’m here for.”

Awoniyi is likely to be joined at his new club by the arrival of Manchester United goalkeeper Dean Henderson on a season long loan, whilst full back Jayden Richardson has departed, the right sided player was on loan at Notts County last season, he has now left for Aberdeen on a permanent deal.

*Main image @NFFC Taiwo Awoniyi is ready to lead the Reds attack.

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