Liverpool could be haunted by one of their former players.
Liverpool may be haunted by Nottingham Forest star Taiwo Awoniyi later this season. The 26-year-old spent six years at Anfield but has admitted he had to make the difficult decision to quit the club as he was being starved of opportunities due to the presence of blockbuster star Mohammed Salah
Awoniyi joined Liverpool from Imperial Academy in Nigeria as an 18-year-old in 2015. But following a series of loan spells, he left the Reds to sign for Union Berlin in 2021 before he had even made a single first team appearance.
The talented striker notched 25 goals in 65 games for the German club before securing a £17 million move to Nottingham Forest last summer. He has impressed in the Premier League and scored in his team’s first three matches this season after hitting six goals in his final four encounters of the last campaign
Awoniyi returned from injury as a second half substitute last weekend when Forest were defeated 3-0 by Liverpool at Anfield. And the Nigeria international will have another opportunity to haunt his former employers in March when the Reds travel to the City Ground.
But Awoniyi accepts his departure from Merseyside was inevitable. “For me as a player, that was the kind of environment I had always wanted,” the ace told the Liverpool Fc website. “But in life sometimes you have to make tough decisions, and I knew for me that I needed to go and play every week.
“You look at the time, there was Salah, [Sadio] Mane, [Roberto] Firmino and others. I knew the chances [to play] were very, very slim. I knew I needed to get to a place where I was playing every week. It was hard [to leave], but it was a decision I had to make.
Liverpool, I always say, is a family club. You develop as a person as well as a footballer, and I give so much credit to Liverpool for the way they looked after me, all the time I was away. I’m forever grateful for that. It was an important period, really good for me, and it was a big reason I was able to develop into the player and the person I have.”
And discussing his experiences in England, Awoniyi added: “You can’t have anxieties in the Premier League you have to be there every week – 100 per cent – because there are so many strong teams, strong players. The level is so high. Every team is a big club, a team that can easily beat you. That is what sets it apart from the other leagues. The challenge every single week is huge.”