The Nigerian striker made a club record transfer to the Premier League from Union Berlin in the summer and hopes to help the club fulfill its ambitions of staying up
Nigerian striker Taiwo Awoniyi is looking forward to helping Nottingham Forest achieve their goal of staying up in the Premier League at the end of the season. The Reds have returned to the Premier League for the first time since 1999.
The 24-year-old signed for a club record €20.50m transfer from Union Berlin in the summer after scoring 15 goals in the 2021/22 Bundesliga season.
The Premier League starts this weekend and Awoniyi who has been handed the number 9 shirt at Forest is excited about his future at City Ground.
“To be honest, it’s a great project, it’s a great club, similar to Union Berlin. (It’s a) very great family club with a lot of plans. I believe at the end that the whole world will see the plans as well,” Awoniyi told Soccernet.ng.
Like Forest, Union Berlin were only promoted into the Bundesliga in 2019 and Awoniyi helped them qualify for the Europa League with his brace on the final day of the season.
A video emerged of Awoniyi pausing, with his head on the table, before he signed his new contract at Nottingham. He described it as a moment of faith.
“To be honest, that’s what I do at every club I’ve gone to – the first thing for me is God and the last thing will always be God. Even in the middle of the storm or in the good times, it will always be God.
“Every moment before I sign any document, I have to pray first because he’s the one that brought the opportunity. I was just praying and at the same time saying my wishes to God.”
Awoniyi will hope to find his striking instincts when the season kicks off. He is one of six Nigerian players that will feature in the English top division this season.
Despite for signing for Liverpool as a teenager, Awoniyi never got to play for the Reds as he was shipped out on loan before he finally found a home in Berlin. Returning to the Premier League with Nottingham Forest is the fulfillment of long ambitions.
“I am very excited; I am looking forward to it. It is something I am very proud of. I think it is a dream come true for me,” Awoniyi said.
Nottingham Forest will begin their campaign away at Newcastle United on August 6 before welcoming West Ham to their home ground on August 14.