Taiwo Awoniyi signed with the Reds in 2015 and has been sent out on loan every season since. The 22-year-old Nigerian, on loan with the German club Mainz, suffered a concussion during a match in June and had to be taken out on a stretcher.
He told BBC Africa of the frightening experience, “I fell awkwardly and that image scared a lot of people including my family and friends, but the quick intervention of the referee and medics from both clubs was swift.”
That brought his season to a premature end, but thankfully nothing more serious.
Though visa issues have kept Awoniyi from playing in England, he’s trained with and watched the Reds since arriving, and feels proud of what they’ve accomplished.
“Liverpool is a great and family club. I feel very proud to say I am part of that family,” he said.
“From the outside looking in, you can see a lot has changed within the club and it has influenced how people see Liverpool. The manager [Klopp] is admired and respected by a lot of people. You can see the impact he has made at the club. The league title reflects his ethics, the work the whole team from the staff to the players have put together and it is very well deserved.”
Though Awoniyi is happy to be with the club now, he calls himself a “realist” and recognizes that his visa problems are a difficult barrier to overcome. He says he’d rather be getting first team experience elsewhere than to “be compensated for not making any contribution.”
While his destination is unknown as of yet, Awoniyi will likely head out on another loan for the upcoming season as well.