Taiwo Awoniyi: Youngster tipped to do well at Liverpool

By Oluwashina OkelejiBBC Sport
Taiwo Awoniyi
Taiwo Awoniyi was called up to the senior Nigeria team in 2013 but did not play

Nigerian teenager Taiwo Awoniyi has all the attributes needed to be a success at Liverpool, says former Nigeria international Seyi Olofinjana.

Liverpool signed the striker, 18, on Monday, and sent him out on loan to German second tier side FSV Frankfurt.

Awoniyi joined Liverpool from the Imperial Academy in Nigeria, which is run by Olofinjana.

"Taiwo is a goal poacher who puts the team before himself. He has all you need to succeed," he told BBC Sport.

The Under-23 international chose Liverpool ahead of French side Monaco and Portugal's Porto.

Olofinjana, who played for Wolverhampton Wanderers, Stoke City, Hull City and Cardiff City between 2004 and 2013, knows English football well and believes Awoniyi has chosen the right path for his future.

"It's not because Liverpool is a big club but the chat we had with them with regards how they develop young players as well as their plan for Taiwo's steady progress swayed us," Olofinjana said.

"We received interesting offers from other clubs but we concluded that Liverpool was the perfect club for his career.

"Apart from being a good player with great potential, his flair for learning and desire to improve as a player has always been commendable."

Awoniyi played for his country at the Under-17 World Cup in 2013, scoring four goals as Nigeria won the tournament. He also played at this year's Under-20 World Cup in New Zealand, netting twice.

He is undoubtedly a highly promising prospect and matches his raw talent with the ambition to fulfil his potential at what he called "the biggest club in the world".

"I'm privileged to be here," the youngster told Liverpool's website after his arrival. "I have lots of friends in England so I believe I can cope with switching over. I see myself being a good player here.

"My aim on loan is to try to develop myself very well so that when I come back to Liverpool, I'll be able to add value to the team.

"I'm a striker and I love scoring goals. I love helping my team to victory. I assist a lot and I love scoring goals for my team."

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