Awoniyi namechecks Iheanacho as he explains why Liverpool move didn't work outPublished: September 22, 2023
Taiwo Awoniyi has revealed that his move to Liverpool would have worked out if he had gotten a work permit like Kelechi Iheanacho who got the same under the special talent scheme after he joined Manchester City.
Awoniyi joined Liverpool in 2015 but was unable to feature for the Anfield outfit due to a work permit issue which would have made him eligible to play in England.
He had loan spells with Mainz O5, Union Berlin, Royal Excel Mouscron, Gent, FSV Frankfurt and NEC in a bid to buy time and earn the eligibility to play for Liverpool.
The 26-year-old had hoped that if he did well during his loan spells, he would have earned a call-up to the national team which would have made it possible to feature for Liverpool but his wish didn't come true.
Awoniyi in a recent interview detailed how his time at Anfield panned out and how he had strived to succeed with the Merseyside club.
"We discovered that we needed a work permit and to get a permit I needed to play for Nigeria's first team," Awoniyi told The Guardian UK.
"When I signed, my Nigeria teammate Kelechi Iheanacho got the work permit under the special talent scheme [to join Manchester City]. It was after him that they closed the special talent scheme.
"The only option I had was to keep on going on loan, with the hope that if I do well on loan and I play for the national team, I'll be able to get the work permit and come back [to Liverpool].
"I kept on going on loan. And the national team call-ups still didn't come, so I didn't have any other option than to keep on striving."
The 2013 FIFA U17 World Cup winner returned to England last summer, signing a multi-year contract with two-time European champions Nottingham Forest, and has established himself as one of the best strikers in the Premier League.
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