Taiwo Micheal Awoniyi (born 12 August 1997) is a Nigerian professional footballer who plays as a forward for Bundesliga club Union Berlin and the Nigerian national team. Awoniyi’s style of play has been compared to that of Rashidi Yekini, Nigeria’s all-time highest goalscorer.
Early Life and Career
In 2010, Awoniyi was voted the Most Valuable Player at a Coca-Cola football competition in London. His performance at the competition was spotted by Seyi Olofinjana who invited him to join the Imperial Soccer Academy.
On 31 August 2015, Awoniyi signed for English club Liverpool for a fee of around £400,000 but was immediately loaned out to German team FSV Frankfurt.
Awoniyi made his debut for Frankfurt as a late substitute in a German Cup match against Hertha Berlin. After being named as a substitute for six league matches, he made his debut on 19 February 2016, playing 89 minutes against FC St. Pauli. Awoniyi suffered relegation with Frankfurt, and he returned to Liverpool at the end of the season.
On 26 August 2016, Dutch team NEC confirmed that Awoniyi had joined them on a season-long loan and was expected to join the squad the following week after the formalities of his work permit were completed. On 10 September, he made his Eredivisie debut in a 4–0 defeat of NEC to PSV Eindhoven, being replaced in the 72nd minute by Michael Heinloth. With NEC, the Nigerian suffered his second consecutive relegation, being relegated from Eredivisie in 2017.
In July 2017, Awoniyi left NEC and joined Belgian club Royal Excel Mouscron on a season-long loan, and made his debut on 12 August when he started the match against KSC Lokeren, scoring within 23 minutes.
On 17 July 2018, Awoniyi signed a new long-term deal with Liverpool, and on 23 July sealed a season-long loan to another Belgian club, Gent. On 11 January 2019, it was announced that his loan to Gent was cut short, and Awoniyi was loaned to Mouscron again. In April he said that his struggle to get a UK work permit could end his Liverpool career.
On 6 August 2019, Liverpool confirmed Awoniyi had joined Bundesliga side Mainz 05 on a season-long loan. He was hospitalized in June 2020, after sustaining a severe concussion during a 1–0 loss to FC Augsburg in the league.
On 19 September 2020, Awoniyi left for his seventh loan spell, this time joining Bundesliga side Union Berlin for a year.
On 20 July 2021, Awoniyi rejoined Union Berlin, this time on a permanent basis. The German club reportedly paid £6.5 million for the forward. Liverpool have also negotiated a 10% sell-on clause in this deal.
Awoniyi represented Nigeria at the 2013 FIFA U-17 World Cup and went on to win the tournament, scoring four goals during the competition. He also represented Nigeria at the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand after winning the 2015 African U-20 Championship in Senegal.
On 12 April 2015, he scored a brace on his debut for the Nigeria U-23 team in a match against Zambia, as his team went on to qualify for the 2015 All African Games.
He was selected by Nigeria for their 35-man provisional squad for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Taiwo made his senior national team debut on 7th October 2021 in a 1 – 0 home loss to Nigeria playing Central African Rep in a World Cup qualification match in Lagos.
Taiwo Awoniyi is married to his partner Taiwo Jesudun in an engagement and traditional wedding in Kabba on 15 June 2018, followed by a white wedding on 16 June in Ilorin. The couple have one daughter together.
Net Worth and Salary
Taiwo Awoniyi earns £800,200 per year playing for FC Union Berlin.
Taiwo Awoniyi’s net worth as of2021 is estimated at Around $500, 000 – $2.1 million (net worth estimated in 2021).
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