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Taiwo Micheal Awoniyi (born 12 August 1997) is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a forward for English Premier League club Liverpool. Taiwo's style of play has been compared to that of Rashidi Yekini, Nigeria's all-time highest goalscorer.[2]

Taiwo Awoniyi
2018-02-22 Entrainement excel-29 Taiwo Awoniyi.jpg
Personal information
Full name Taiwo Micheal Awoniyi[1]
Date of birth (1997-08-12) 12 August 1997 (age 22)
Place of birth Ilorin, Nigeria
Height 1.83 m (6 ft 0 in)
Playing position Centre-forward
Club information
Current team
Mainz
(on loan from Liverpool FC)
Number 22
Youth career
2010–2015 Imperial Soccer Academy
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2015– Liverpool 0 (0)
2015–2016FSV Frankfurt (loan) 13 (1)
2016–2017NEC (loan) 18 (2)
2017–2018Royal Excel Mouscron (loan) 29 (9)
2018–2019Gent (loan) 16 (0)
2019Royal Excel Mouscron (loan) 9 (7)
2019–Mainz (loan) 2 (0)
National team
2013 Nigeria U17 8 (4)
2015 Nigeria U20 9 (7)
2015– Nigeria U23 3 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 24 August 2019 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 7 September 2015

Club careerEdit

Early careerEdit

In 2010, Taiwo was voted the Most Valuable Player at a Coca-Cola football competition in London. His performance at the competition was spotted by Seyi Olofinjana who made him join Imperial Soccer Academy.[3]

LiverpoolEdit

On 31 August 2015, Taiwo signed for English club Liverpool for a fee of around £400,000 but was immediately loaned out to FSV Frankfurt.[4][5][6]

Loan to FSV FrankfurtEdit

He made his debut for the club as a late substitute in a German Cup match against Hertha Berlin. After being named as a substitute for six league matches, he made his debut on 19 February 2016, playing 89 minutes against FC St. Pauli.[7] With the team of the 2. Bundesliga, Awoniyi suffered relegation and was not kept at the end of the season.

Loan to NEC NijmegenEdit

On 26 August 2016, NEC confirmed that he had joined them on a season-long loan and was expected to join the squad the following week after the formalities of his work permit were completed.[8] On 10 September, he made his Eredivisie debut in a 4–0 defeat of NEC to PSV Eindhoven, being replaced in the 72nd minute by Michael Heinloth.[9] With Nijmegen, the Nigerian suffered his second consecutive relegation, being relegated from Eredivisie in 2017.[10]

Loan to Royal Excel MouscronEdit

In July 2017 Awoniyi left Nijmegen and joined Belgian club Royal Excel Mouscron on a season-long loan, and on his debut on 12 August (also his birthday) started the match against KSC Lokeren and scored within 23 minutes.[11]

Loan to KAA GentEdit

On 17 July 2018 he signed a new long-term deal with Liverpool[12] and on 23 July sealed a season-long loan to another Belgian club, KAA Gent.[13] On 11 January 2019, it was announced that his loan to Gent was cut short, and Awoniyi was loaned to Mouscron again.[14] In April 2019 he said that his struggle to get a UK work permit could end his Liverpool career.[15]

Loan to Mainz 05Edit

On 6 August 2019 Liverpool confirmed the player had joined Mainz 05 on a season long loan.[16]

International careerEdit

Taiwo represented Nigeria at the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup and went on to win the tournament, scoring four goals during the competition.[17] He also represented Nigeria at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand after winning the 2015 African U-20 Championship in Senegal.[18]

On 12 April 2015, he scored a brace on his debut for the Nigeria U-23 team in a match against Zambia, as his team went on to qualify for the 2015 All African Games.[19]

He was selected by Nigeria for their 35-man provisional squad for the 2016 Summer Olympics.[20]

Career statisticsEdit

As of match played 26 December 2018 [21]
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League Domestic Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
FSV Frankfurt (loan) 2015–16 2. Bundesliga 13 1 1 0 14 1
N.E.C. (loan) 2016–17 Eredivisie 18 2 1 0 3[a] 1 22 3
Royal Excel Mouscron (loan) 2017–18 First Division A 29 9 2 1 0 0 31 10
K.A.A. Gent (loan) 2018–19 First Division A 16 0 1 2 4[b] 1 21 3
Career total 77 12 5 3 0 0 6 2 88 17
  1. ^ Appearances in the Eredivisie relegation play-offs
  2. ^ Appearances in the UEFA Europa League

HonoursEdit

RecognitionsEdit

In recognition for his performance at the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup competition, Taiwo along with his teammates were bestowed with the Member of the Order of the Niger award.[22] It was also reported in the media that there were plans by the Kwara State House of Assembly to name a major street after him.[23]

Personal lifeEdit

He married his partner Taiwo Jesudun in an engagement and traditional wedding in Kabba on Friday 15 June 2018, followed by a white wedding on 16 June in Ilorin.[24]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "List of players under written contract registered between 01/08/2017 and 31/08/2017" (PDF). The Football Association. p. 1. Retrieved 11 February 2018.
  2. ^ Solace Chukwu (14 March 2015). "TAIWO AWONIYI: THE YOUNGSTER LOOKING TO FILL RASHIDI YEKINI'S BIG VOID". Goal.com. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  3. ^ "I beat Taiwo Awoniyi to discourage him from football – Dad". Vanguard. 10 November 2013. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  4. ^ James Carrol (31 August 2015). "Reds complete signing of Taiwo Awoniyi". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  5. ^ Press Association (31 August 2015). "Liverpool sign 18-year-old Nigeria forward Taiwo Awoniyi". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  6. ^ Okeleji, Oluwashina (2 September 2015). "Taiwo Awoniyi: Youngster tipped to do well at Liverpool". BBC Sport. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  7. ^ "Liverpool's Awoniyi makes League Debut In Germany". Soccernet. 19 February 2016. Retrieved 19 February 2016.
  8. ^ "NEC hires striker Taiwo Awoniyi". NEC. 26 August 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016.
  9. ^ Johnny Edward (10 September 2016). "Nwakaeme Hits Hat-trick, Enyeama Concedes Four, Awoniyi Makes NEC Debut". Nigerian Nation. Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  10. ^ "NEC degradeert na forse nederlaag tegen NAC". nos.nl. 28 May 2017. Retrieved 6 February 2018.
  11. ^ "Liverpool loanee celebrates birthday with debut goal". thisisanfield.com. 13 August 2017. Retrieved 10 September 2017.
  12. ^ Carroll, James (17 July 2018). "Taiwo Awoniyi signs new Liverpool deal". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  13. ^ Carroll, James (23 July 2018). "Taiwo Awoniyi seals loan switch to KAA Gent". Liverpool F.C. Retrieved 23 July 2018.
  14. ^ "Taiwo Awoniyi joins Mouscron on loan". Liverpool FC.
  15. ^ Okeleji, Oluwashina (1 April 2019). "Taiwo Awoniyi: Nigerian admits work permit could derail Liverpool dream". BBC Sport. Retrieved 28 August 2019.
  16. ^ "Taiwo Awoniyi joins Mainz on season-long loan deal". Liverpool FC.
  17. ^ "Taiwo Awoniyi: The New Bride of European Clubs". Thisday. 27 June 2015. Archived from the original on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  18. ^ "Nigeria set sights on daring double". Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 8 May 2015. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  19. ^ Akpayen, George (12 April 2015). "Awoniyi brace catapults Nigeria U23". SuperSports. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  20. ^ Okeleji, Oluwashina (24 June 2016). "Kelechi Iheanacho included in Nigeria's Olympics squad". BBC Sport. Retrieved 25 June 2016.
  21. ^ Taiwo Awoniyi at Soccerway. Retrieved 6 October 2017.
  22. ^ "Awoniyi Overjoyed With MON Award". SL10. 30 September 2014. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  23. ^ Demola Akinyemi (11 March 2014). "Kwara to name street after Taiwo Awoniyi". Vanguard. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  24. ^ "Ex-Golden Eaglet Taiwo Awoniyi, 20, Gets Married". Complete Sport Nigeria. 17 June 2018. Retrieved 16 July 2018.

External linksEdit