Taiwo Awoniyi: Why Kanu, Yakubu and Utaka Provide Inspiration For His Move To Nottingham Forest
The ink was barely dry on the story of Taiwo Awoniyi’s imminent acquisition by English Premer League newbies Nottingham Forest only for Super Eagles fans to debate whether it was the best move for the Super Eagles sharp shooter.
Nottingham Forest are reportly set to SMASH their transfer record to sign Taiwo Awoniyi from Union Berlin... with the newly-promoted club ready to spend £17.5m to bring the former Liverpool forward to the City Ground.
Nigeria fans are now saying Awoniyi should either stay at Union Berlin or should wait for RB Leipzig to intensify their interest. Being a newly promoted EPL outfit, many are worried that Awoniyi will be embroiled in perpetual relegation battle with Nottingham Forest rather than participating in European club competitions with Leipzig or Berlin.
Well, for me, I am sure Awoniyi and his team would not have resisted a reasonable offer from Leipzig if one was on the table and it trumps what Nottingham Forest would have offered (in terms of renumeration and expected game time).
Okocha, Odewingie and particularly Yakubu Aiyegbemi left their mark in the English Premier League despite playing for mid table clubs.
Even Kanu had success with lowly Portsmouth by winning a most unlikely FA cup in an outfit that also paraded John Utaka.
It is a no brainer that if he works hard and fortune shines on him, Awoniyi might make a name for himself in Nottingham Forest as a deadly striker regardless of what happens to the club long-term.
Yakubu Aiyegbeni comes to mind: he had a mind-blowing season with Blackburn Rovers as the club were on their way out of the English Premier League and subsequently into oblivion.
Aiyegbeni’s goals scoring exploits that season for doomed Blackburn Rovers found its way into English Premier League folklore and had Yakubu been younger, it is not unreasonable to speculate that another premier League side would have snapped him up after Rovers’ inescapable demise.
The English Premier League has far greater visibility than the German Bundasliga. It is the Mecca on world club football. So, if Awoniyi distinguishes himself there, then his career should not nosedive if Nottingham Forest gets relegated.
For me, Awoniyi should be playing in England. Being bought by Liverpool earlier in his career only to be sold after several loan moves conjures a sense of destiny. The English Premier League is where he belongs.
He has all the qualities to be a huge success if applies himself.
Senegal’s Sadio Mane moved from Southampton to Liverpool. Who is to say Awoniyi cannot experience similar upward mobility in his career from Nottingham Forest?
And yes, on a sentimental level, playing for a club with a huge (historic) and rich domestic and continental background is something for Awoniyi to brag about to his family after his retirement.
For me, if Awoniyi trains hard,works hard, applies himself diligently and maintains the level of concentration that serves lions well in the Serengeti, then he will find success that will transcend the predicted gloomy fate of Nottingham Forest.
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