Liverpool have had a host of players who have left the club and never managed to hit the heights they managed in a red shirt again but one former forward may be the exception to that rule.
Speaking with The Guardian, Taiwo Awoniyi discussed his time as a Red: “The only option I had was to keep on going on loan with the hope that if I do well on loan and I play for the national team, I’ll be able to get the work permit and come back.
“I kept on going on loan and the national team call-ups still didn’t come. So, I didn’t have any other option than to keep on striving.”
“It was really a hard and tough situation. I didn’t really play a lot of games [at FSV Frankfurt and] the team was relegated. I then went to Holland [at Nijmegen] and that was another strange experience. We also got relegated.
“I said to myself, about the third year, if I go down again or I don’t make anything happen, I have to think about my football career. It was at Mouscron that I really discovered myself, that I saw myself as the player I wanted to be.”
It’s sad to hear how much this period of the young man’s life had such a negative effect on his mental health but now it’s great to see how he’s turned his fortunes around and that he’s now thriving in the Premier League.
When a player fails to get a work permit to play for a club, it’s certainly not the fault of his team and so we can at least read into this that we couldn’t really have done much more for the 26-year-old.
The Nottingham Forest man clearly had talent, that’s why he was brought to Merseyside in the first case and it’s unfortunate that he wasn’t given the chance to really showcase them at any level for us.
Fortunately the forward now has seven international appearances to his name as well, which is a great example of why you should never give up on your dreams.
This loan spell at Mouscron was far from the final short-term stint at another club either and the following moves to Gent, Mainz and Union Berlin provided a chance to move to the latter on a permanent basis.
Let’s hope that this long journey to being given a chance in England can act as an example to any young player who is constantly loaned out in the search of first-team football at the highest level.
Best of luck for the future Taiwo Awoniyi, you’ve certainly earned your place in the Premier League!