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Photo – Unknown quantity spotted training with Liverpool senior squad ahead of Leeds United clash

A surprising new addition was seen training with the Liverpool senior team at Melwood ahead of their season-opener against Leeds United.

Although there was some speculation about his identity considering him to be newly registered player: it is actually Nigerian footballer Taiwo Awoniyi, back at Melwood from his season-long loan at Mainz.

His stint at the German side was the latest of six loan spells since his arrival at Liverpool in 2015 for an estimated transfer fee of £400,000.

He was immediately loaned out to FSG Frankfurt, and has never played a minute of competitive action for his parent club yet.

Standing at 1.83m (6’0”), the 23-year-old centre forward has been out on loan at FSG Frankfurt, NEC Nijmegen, Royal Excel Mouscron (twice), Gent and Mainz 05.

A majority of his loan spells were barely productive, marred by his lack of goals, a struggle to get a UK work permit, as well as a severe concussion during his latest loan spell at Mainz in June 2020 (Wikipedia).

Awoniyi represents his native Nigeria at the international level. He was a part of the Super Eagles’ winning team at the 2013 U17 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates, scoring four goals during the competition.

He also represented Nigeria in the 2015 FIFA U20 World Cup in New Zealand, after winning the 2015 African U20 Championship in Senegal. He was also selected by Nigeria for their 35-man provisional squad for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

It would not be an understatement to say that Awoniyi hasn’t cracked it in Merseyside in five years, and he probably never will.

But regardless, the champions of England will be hoping for him to fire in his next loan spell, so that they can get a profit from the transfer fee they paid for him five years ago.

By Sagarneel Chakraborty

Football enthusiast for a decade.

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