Liverpool’s forgotten man has chance to prove he can be Jurgen Klopp’s own Erling Haaland
The future of Erling Haaland has been one of the major talking points of the summer transfer window so far. But Liverpool would almost certainly be priced out of a move for the Borussia Dortmund star, though they are in need of a striker this summer.
Dortmund have slapped a £150million price tag on the Norwegian, meaning the Reds would likely be forced to sell one of their biggest stars to fund a move.
Rather than do that though, Jurgen Klopp could look to the fringes of his squad to take the place that Haaland would fill.
Liverpool are currently in Austria for a pre-season training camp, with Klopp making it clear there is a way back into his squad for those who have fallen out of favour in the past.
Taiwo Awoniyi moved to Anfield in 2015 for a nominal fee from Nigerian side Imperial Academy.
But he has failed to make a single competitive appearance for the Reds due to the fact that he had not been in possession of a work permit.
That situation saw him sent out on loan to the likes of Frankfurt, Gent and Nijmegen in recent seasons.
Awoniyi spent the last two years in the Bundesliga, at first with Mainz before then joining newly-promoted Union Berlin.
He struggled at Mainz in their successful battle against relegation, scoring just one goal in 12 appearances.
But the 23-year-old had a more enjoyable time in Berlin, scoring five times and becoming a regular in Urs Fischer’s side
Those goals helped Union to secure a surprise top seven finish, missing out on European qualification by just two points.
His spells out on loan could finally be at end though, with the striker at last granted a work permit to play for the Reds.
While his goal return has not so far matched Haaland’s, Awoniyi has still drawn comparisons to the Dortmund man.
His playing style also closely matches the type of striker Klopp has traditionally utilised during his spells as a manager in Germany.
He now has the chance to prove that he can truly live up to those comparisons to Haaland, with Klopp seeking an improvement in attacking areas.
Liverpool produced their worst goal return for some time, with Xherdan Shaqiri, Divock Origi and Sadio Mane all suffering poor spells of form.
Awoniyi could be the perfect man to solve those issues if given a chance by Klopp, though it has been reported the Reds are ready to listen to offers for him.
But he does have a chance to win over Klopp in Salzburg this week and if he takes it, it could pay off for Liverpool.