Nigeria striker Taiwo Awoniyi was tipped for greatness by the country’s football fans following his exploits in age-grade football.
The Liverpool loanee was among the players who lifted 2013 U17 World Cup in United Arab Emirates.
His potentials was so obvious that he led the country’s U20 side to AFCON glory in 2015 despite being just 18 years of age.
He was included in the team of the tournament as found the back of the net on three occasions.
His goalscoring prowess left Nigerians with no option but to likened him to the country’s highest and highly-rated goal-poacher Rashidi Yekini.
The then 18-year-old star was courted by top European clubs, including Liverpool, as they were eagerly to have him in their respective attacking setup.
Liverpool eventually snapped the player, but he was ineligible to feature for the Reds due to work permit issue.
He has since been from one loan to another, and the onetime bright prospect sadly became a shadow of himself.
He completed his sixth loan deal in his young career when he joined Mainz 05 prior to the start of the season.
He wasn’t rated by the Mainz 05 manager Achim Beierlorzer who only managed to use him in just six from possible 25 games before the Coronavirus-enforced break in March.
Luckily, situation has changed for the player’s favor since the return of the season. He is fast becoming one of the most important players in Die Nullfünfer team.
He scored his first goal against Koln last month, and he was included in the starting lineup by the boss for the first time this season.
He went the distance during their 2-0 victory over Frankfurt on Sunday and he was largely impressive throughout the encounter.
Though it appears too early to say that Awoniyi is back to his best, the 23-year-old striker is definitely on the right path to reaching his full potentials.
The question, however, is — will he eventually break into Jurgen Klopp’s team after many years of trials? Only time will tell.
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