The Nigerian forward is occupying the upper section of the Bundesliga scoring chart right behind Robert Lewandowski, Erling Haaland, and Patrik Schick after his latest exploits punished one of his former suitors
FSV Mainz sporting director Christian Heidel has voiced his frustration on missing out on the signing of Taiwo Awoniyi after the 24-year-old struck twice on Sunday to hand Mainz their first home defeat of the Bundesliga campaign.
Awoniyi spent the 2019/20 season on loan at Mainz from Liverpool, but the 05ers sent him back to Anfield after finding the back of the net once in twelve league matches.
After another loan spell at Union Berlin, Liverpool were willing to offload the former Golden Eaglets star this summer.
Mainz director Heidel has confessed that they were among those who negotiated with Liverpool to sign Awoniyi. Still, they could not convince the Anfield giants to reduce the asking price for the former Gent man.
“I’ve always liked him, as you have seen, rightly,” Heidel said about Awoniyi, as per Rheinfalz.
“He was on the market, but we couldn’t finance the deal.
“We talked about him, but I didn’t get a discount.”
Union Berlin won the race for Awoniyi’s signature, completing a club-record €6.5 million deal for the Nigerian forward on July 20, 2021.
The former FSV Frankfurt loanee has been in spectacular form since, scoring eight goals and notching two assists in 12 matches across all competitions.
The latest two of those goals came in four second-half minutes at Mainz on Sunday, which helped Union Berlin come from a goal down to win two-one.
Awoniyi’s brace secured the Iron Ones’ third victory in a row while it forced Mainz to their first home defeat in the Bundesliga in a manner that hurts the coach of the 05ers, Bo Svensson.
“Everyone knows Taiwo’s strengths,” Svensson said.
“The two goals we conceded were gifts from us. Unfortunately, that decided the game.”
Five of Awoniyi’s eight goals have been scored in the German top-flight, with only Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski (7), Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland (7), and Bayer Leverkusen’s Patrik Schick (6) scoring more.