Awoniyi trains with Salah, Mane and Keita as Liverpool begin pre-season

Taiwo Awoniyi trained alongside Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita as Liverpool commenced their pre-season campaign on Monday.

The former Nigeria youth international was included in the Premier League side’s training tour in Austria alongside Cameroon’s Joel Matip and French star of Malian descent Ibrahima Konate.

Under the watchful eyes of manager Jurgen Klopp, the 23-year-old joined the Egypt, Senegal and Guinea internationals in workout sessions ahead of their pre-season games against FC Wacker Innsbruck and VfB Stuttgart billed for Tuesday, July 20.

“Today is the start of a new campaign for us as we begin our pre-season training programme in Austria,” a statement from the club read.

“We say a big welcome to Ibrahima Konate: just listen to James Milner and everything will be fine!

“Also, it’s a trusted welcome to all the boys who come back from their loan clubs; your experiences for sure will make us stronger during this pre-season.

“Then for all the young talents who have come with us, our message is enjoy and keep this “updated” phrase of Bob Paisley in your mind – we search for a player who nutmegs Virgil van Dijk in training but steps politely aside for him in the corridor.

“Some football rules will never change, that’s what I love so much about this game.”

Awoniyi was signed by Liverpool in 2015. However, he was loaned out to FSV Frankfurt, NEC Nijmegen, Mouscron, Gent, Mainz and Union Berlin owing to work permit issues.

Article continues below

Having received his long-waited permit that would enable him to play in England, he would be hoping to break into Klopp’s team in the 2021-22 campaign.

Last term, Awoniyi scored five goals in 21 German top-flight appearances as Urs Fischer's Union Berlin finished in seventh position after amassing 50 points from 34 matches - which earned them qualification to the Europa Conference League play-off round.

The 19-time English top-flight champions will begin their campaign with an away game versus Norwich City on August 14.