TeamTALK are reporting that Liverpool have secured the future of young striker Taiwo Awoniyi despite interest from rivals. The report claims the likes of Barcelona, Inter Milan, Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City were all keen on the 20-year-old. Such interest in the Nigerian is certainly odd, considering he has never played a minute of first-team football at Liverpool.
Back in the summer of 2015, Liverpool decided to bring in the talented Nigerian attacker with a fee of £400,000 paid for his services, as reported by The Guardian. That fee was paid to Swedish side Kalmar, who had the right of first-option on the player if he was to leave the Imperial Academy in Nigeria, as reported by Pulse.
The teenager was however immediately sent out on loan. He could not receive a work permit and went to FSV Frankfurt before spending the next season at NEC Nijmegen. Both campaigns ended in relegation and many Liverpool fans have probably forgotten about the striker.
But Liverpool are right to be offering him a new deal.
Last season he was much more productive. He spent the campaign with Royal Excelsior Mouscron. He found the net 10 times in 31 appearances, also bagging seven assists. His form toward the end of the season, in particular, was very impressive. He scored five goals in six games before a hamstring problem ended his campaign in April.
What Liverpool have is a raw talent and, despite his work permit issues, they must make sure he remains theirs.
The report from TeamTALK suggests a potential two-year loan at Monaco could be on the cards and that would be a perfect opportunity for him to show his talents.
If he could push on into the Nigerian senior set-up, then Liverpool will have a great chance of securing that elusive work permit for the player.
If in two years time he has thrived in France and Liverpool have a gem on their hands, they will look back on this summer with pride at their hard work keeping the Super Eagle talent signed to Anfield.