Listen, I know it’s not as sexy as world record Brazilian goalkeepers or bearded playmakers with dodgy knees, but extending the contracts of Liverpool’s brightest talents is an important part of club management. Prior to joining Bolton on loan, Harry Wilson signed an extension to his deal, and today, the Reds have announced that Nigerian striker Taiwo Awoniyi will also remain a Liverpool player going forward.
The 20-year old spent the 2017/18 season on loan at Belgian side Mouscron, notching 10 goals and 7 assists in all competitions, averaging a goal or assist every 144 minutes. A hamstring injury saw him miss the majority of the playoff portion of the season, but Les Hurlus still managed to escape the drop.
Now entering his fourth season as a Liverpool player — having spent the previous three on loan in Germany, Holland and Belgium — Awoniyi is looking to break into Nigeria’s international side in a bid to earn a work permit and the opportunity to finally play for the Reds.
“I feel excited and I feel very happy,” revealed the striker. “It has been three years since I first came to Liverpool. So far, so good. The last year was the best for me, it has been an amazing year so far.
“I just have to keep working hard each year and I believe one day the dream will come true.”
While initially a promising prospect — famously the second brightest star in Nigeria’s U17 World Cup winning side of 2015 — a succession of loans to lower-level leagues is not typically what one associates with a burgeoning success story. Nonetheless, the new contract indicates that the club are ready to continue betting on Awoniyi doing enough to secure a work permit and contribute at Anfield going forward. Hopefully, they are right.