New arrival at SV Mainz 05 of Germany, Taiwo Awoniyi has arrived into the warm of embrace of the modest club’s Nigerian-born attacker, Karim Onisiwo, who is set to provide the former youth international with the necessary support to help him settle down fast.
Although Onisiwo is bound to rival Awoniyi for a shirt in the Bundesliga club’s attack this season, the youngster is ready to play the role of ‘brother’s keeper’ in helping the new arrival plant his feet effectively and hit the ground running.
Such is the warm atmosphere that herald the arrival of Awoniyi, who joins the former club of Anthony Ujah and Leon Aderemi Balogun on loan from Liverpool of England, despite making a huge impact last time out at Royal Excelsior Mouscron of Belgium in the past season.
That led to wide expectation that Awoniyi would either move to Anfield to start his full contract with Liverpool or get a summer transfer to a bigger club, yet he has been loaned yet again by The Reds, but the word out of Merseyside is that he has joined Mainz on loan for this season.
Having failed to obtain a work permit to play for Liverpool in the English Premier League, Awoniyi, who made 38 competitive appearances last season overall for KAA Gent and Mouscron, scoring 14 goals and three assists, is embarking on his sixth loan spell.
He has previously spent time on loan from The Reds at FSV Frankfurt of Germany, NEC Nijmegen of Holland as twice at Mouscron and then Gent, which means he never got to play a single match for the UCL champions, for which he first signed in August 2015.
However, Awoniyi might still have a future at Liverpool in years to come, as it was further gathered that The Reds’ boss, Jurgen Klopp actually was the one who advised him to make the move to Mainz, which the German gaffer once handled in the distant past.
A report by owngoalnigeria.com added that Klopp’s advice eventually saw Awoniyi join Mainz instead of OGC Nice of France, and the 21-year-old UAE 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup gold medalist signed the dotted lines with the German club on Monday.
In the new season, Awoniyi will compete with Onisiwo, who plays for Austria instead of Nigeria, with a view to making an impact at the club Klopp led for seven years before joining Borussia Dortmund in 2008.
The report adds: “Klopp was not opposed to the striker who scored 11 league goals for Mouscron in a six months spell at the club in the second half of last season after struggling to make his mark at fellow Belgium side Gent.
“The Liverpool boss who played and later managed Mainz 05 convinced Awoniyi that he will get regular playing time in Germany at the club and his development is best suited to the environment of the modest team.
“Furthermore Klopp tasked him to maintain his goal scoring form at Mouscron in Germany to force his way into the senior national team of Nigeria as that will help his chances of securing a work permit which will make him eligible to play for Liverpool.”