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Taiwo Awoniyi seeks to draw Nigerian fans to Nottingham Forest

New Nottingham Forest signing Taiwo Awoniyi believes his arrival at the English club will attract football supporters from his home nation Nigeria to the club.

The 24-year-old Nigerian forward joined Forest from Union Berlin for a club record fee in June.

The English Premier League interests Nigerians, with clubs like Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea having large fan bases in the country.

“Our fans love to watch and support Nigerians playing in the Premier League and I believe some of them will try to create a Nottingham Forest fanbase, too,” Awoniyi told BBC Sport Africa.

“I know Nigerians like some clubs already, but when you have one of their own and play attractive football, you will automatically get them on your side.

“I believe they will support us, and of course I have my friends and family who were already waiting for me to play in England. It will be an exciting one for them.”

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, have contributed the most players from the continent to the Premier League since the top flight was rebranded in 1992.

Awoniyi becomes the country’s latest export, joining countrymen Kelechi Iheanacho and Wilfred Ndidi (both Leicester City), Frank Onyeka (Brentford), Joe Aribo (Southampton) and Alex Iwobi (Everton).

He joins Forest as they return to the Premier League for the first time in 23 years.

Awoniyi scored 20 goals in 43 competitive games for Union Berlin last season, also helping the club fifth-place finish, which guaranteed them Europa League football for the first time since the 2001-02 season.

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