Awoniyi: Why I left Liverpool for Union Berlin
Taiwo Awoniyi claimed his quest to “have a home” influenced his decision to leave Premier League giants Liverpool for Union Berlin.
The forward was on loan at the Iron Ones last season, however, he joined Germany’s elite division permanently after the Union defeated challengers Mainz 05 to his signing.
After writing a five-year contract worth £ 6.5million (€ 7.5million / $ 9million), Awoniyi will remain at Stadion An der Alten Forsterei until 2026.
In his first interview at his new club, the 2013 FIFA U17 World Cup winner explained what inspired him to join Urs Fischer’s team.
“After many loan moves over the past years, I finally want to come and have a home,” said the former Nigeria youth international. Union Berlin website.
“I owe Union so much so it makes me happy and proud to be back here. It’s fantastic to continue on the right track with the club.
“I will give my all to quickly pick up where I was before my injury.”
Spotted at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand, Awoniyi was signed by Liverpool the same year – paying Imperial Soccer Academy £ 400,000 ($ 550,000).
Due to his inability to obtain a UK work permit, he spent the next six seasons on a series of loans.
He represented FSV Frankfurt in German second division, Mainz, Eredivisie team NEC Nijmegen and Belgian elite division teams Mouscron and Ghent.
Union Berlin’s professional football general manager Oliver Ruhnert explained why his team are interested in the African star.
“We got to know Taiwo last season and we have become sure of his qualities. His robustness, his dedication and his unconditional desire to learn and develop were the decisive factors for us to give everything to make this transfer happen, ”he said.
“We greatly appreciate the efforts of everyone involved to find a suitable solution. “
In the 2020-21 season, Awoniyi scored five goals in 21 league games as Fischer’s men finished seventh in the standings after accumulating 50 points in 34 games.
This position earned them the qualification for the play-offs of the Europa Conference League.