sport

Three Premier League Clubs Interested In Nigeria’s Taiwo Awoniyi

Former Liverpool striker Taiwo Awoniyi has been credited with transfer interest from three Premier League clubs less than a year after departing Anfield permanently.

The 24-year-old spent six years on the Reds’ books between 2015 and 2021 after being signed from the Imperial Soccer Academy but did not play a single game for Liverpool, leaving Anfield temporarily on seven different loan spells with FSV Frankfurt, NEC, Mouscron (twice), Gent, Mainz 05 and Union Berlin, the latter of which he joined permanently at the start of the season.

Now, the Nigerian striker has been credited with transfer interest from Newcastle United, West Ham United and Southampton, having scoring 13 times in 27 Bundesliga games for Union this season.

Any club interested would have to trigger the €20m (£16.65m) release clause in Awoniyi’s contract, with Union signing him for just €6.5m (£5.4m) last summer.

The former Liverpool striker has had a stunning campaign in Germany’s top-flight, with his 13 goals putting sixth in the hunt for the division’s golden boot award. Only Robert Lewandowski (32), Patrick Schick (20), Erling Haaland (18), Christopher Nkunku (17) and Anthony Modeste (16) have more league goals this term.

All three clubs linked could with added firepower this season in their respective battles. West Ham only have one recognised striker in the first-team squad in Michail Antonio, while the likes of Jarrod Bowen and Andriy Yarmolenko can play there in makeshift roles.

With Dwight Gayle scoring just six league goals this season and not playing since last year and Chris Wood scoring just twice since leaving Burnley, Newcastle have been heavily linked with being on the hunt for a new striker including being touted with interest in Benfica star Darwin Nunez and Brentford’s Ivan Toney.

Ralph Hasenhuttl’s Saints side have also had issues up front this term. Armando Broja’s loan from Chelsea expires in the summer, while top scorer Che Adams has just seven league goals this season.

As per Transfermarkt’s latest valuation of Awoniyi that took place in December, they have valued him at £13.5m, a fee not too far off his reported buy-out clause of £16.65m.

In the Bundesliga this season, Awoniyi has averaged a league goal every 145.3 minutes in Germany’s top-flight. That record is the sixth-best minutes per goal ratio of any player with ten or more goals this term.

Mirror UK reports that same minutes per goal record would also put him sixth in the Premier League this season. Only Mohamed Salah (114.2), Riyad Mahrez (119.5), Diogo Jota (129.2), Cristiano Ronaldo (139.9) and Jamie Vardy (140.1) have better records.

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