Union Berlin striker Awoniyi reveals Klopp’s last message after Liverpool exit



A week ago, the Nigeria youth international left Anfield to rejoin the Bundesliga club in a permanent move

Union Berlin forward Taiwo Awoniyi said Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp described his permanent switch to the Bundesliga as a ‘good thing’ after it brought an end to his six-year struggle in England.

Awoniyi completed a £6.5 million move to the Stadion An der Alten Forsterei where he penned a five-year contract last Tuesday.

The permanent transfer ended the Nigeria forward’s struggles at Anfield after he was loaned out to six clubs in six years and he failed to make a competitive appearance for the Reds.

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The 23-year-old was training with Klopp’s team at their Austria training camp before the move, and he has disclosed the last words the German coach shared with him.

Awoniyi also added the reason behind his decision to return to the Iron Ones.

“He said it was a good thing because he felt like everyone at Union wanted to sign me at the club. He said it was the most important thing for a young player,” Awoniyi told Kicker.

“If I had stayed in England it would have been good for me too. But I always wanted to find a club where I’m welcome, where I’m an integral part of the team that really wanted me. That is what my decision to come back to Union was about.

“I am convinced that Union is the best move for me at the moment. Maybe one day I’ll go back to England. Who knows?”

Last season, Awoniyi scored five goals in 16 Bundesliga outings for Union Berlin who finished seventh in the league table.

He reflected on his transfer to Liverpool from Nigeria’s Imperial Soccer Academy back in 2015, after the Golden Eaglets’ success at the 2013 Fifa U17 World Cup.

“To be honest: I never knew I wasn’t allowed to play in England,” he said. “I never knew how the work permit would go.

“When you go to England as a young guy from Nigeria and make your dream come true, you don’t know so much about how professional football is. It took time for me to understand that I have to wait to get my work permit.”

Having confirmed his new home, Awoniyi will be looking to build on his last season’s form when Union Berlin begin their 2021-22 season with a German Cup fixture against Turkgucu Munchen on August 8.

Urs Fischer’s men will later kick off their Bundesliga campaign with a home match against Bayer Leverkusen the following week.



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