Taiwo Awoniyi hopes to make the grade at Liverpool after new long-term deal

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Aware that, despite his new long-term contract, his immediate future lies away from Merseyside, the 20-year-old is not giving up on his Anfield dream

Following the commitment of his future to the English Premier League outfit, Taiwo Awoniyi hopes to, ‘one day’, feature in Liverpool’s senior setup.

The 20-year-old who had two years left on his previous contract was handed an extension on Tuesday - after an impressive 2017-18 campaign away in Belgium with Royal Excel Mouscron.

He will, again, be going out on loan having yet to secure a UK work permit. That has, however, not stopped the dreams of the youngster who was snapped from Imperial Soccer Academy in 2015.

“When I was told about the contract I was so eager to get it done, to move onto the next stage, going out on loan or being a Liverpool player,” Awoniyi told club website.

“My ambition is to work hard wherever I find myself and hopefully be a better player.

“Last season was the best season for me so far. It was a bit tough for me to be there alone but I just had to keep on working hard and try as much as possible for the best and work for the success of the team. They stayed in the league. It was a great year for me.

“Going from Germany [FSV Frankfurt] to Holland [NEC Nijmegen] and to Belgium [Royal Excel Mouscron] was a big career move for me as a player. My thanks to Liverpool for that. It helped me a lot to develop more as a player.

“I’m a Liverpool player for more years and the plan is to keep on working hard and hopefully get back here one day.”

awoniyi ps

Liverpool experienced an unprecedented resurgence last season that saw them reach the final of the Uefa Champions League, and central to those feats were African duo Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mane, and Roberto Firmino - Awoniyi’s ‘favourite player’.

“It was an amazing year for the club, with the likes of Mane, Salah and my favourite player, Firmino. He works so hard for the team, plays for the team and makes the job easier for the team.

“Mane and Salah have really done well for the club and shown the world what Africa has got. Many African players have this talent – it’s just the opportunity sometimes.”

Awoniyi has experienced success with Nigeria in the past; playing a major role in the country’s run to another U17 World Cup trophy in 2013.

And the striker hopes his showing in another loan spell in the upcoming season paves a way to Gernot Rohr’s heart.

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“That is a big part of the ambition for me,” he continued.

“I have played for many years with the youth teams and I look forward to hopefully getting a chance with the senior team. This season will be the one they judge me on. Hopefully, I will do it.

“It was unfortunate that we didn’t get through the [group] at the World Cup. Nigeria are a team with a lot of talent, looking at the team at the World Cup, it had a lot of young talent. I believe Nigeria will come back again as a giant of Africa.”

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