By- Oma Akatugba,Mainz Germany.
Taiwo Awoniyi’s story would be incomplete without his Liverpool career, and the 22-year old attacker has admitted.
In an interview with Omasports, Awoniyi revealed his gratefulness for being a Liverpool player, despite the challenges he has faced in recent time. “At 22, I’ve seen faces and been to many places. I want to play football, get loans, enjoy the game. I had series of offers in the summer and Liverpool didn’t sell. As a club, they have their philosophy, and that club has been wonderful. Liverpool is a wonderful club. Even when you leave, you regret leaving, you feel bad for yourself. They are really nice people but at the end of it, it still falls back to the business of it.
As a player, I just need stability. “At this point in time, I know there’s a big future ahead, known to someone who knows all. We are here seated and I never believed this could be happening here now. Some people never believe where they found themselves. It tells you there’s someone up there. It’s my belief. I think of the goodness and betterment of my future. “I’ve been to different places to play football and it’s totally demanding. Sometimes I get there late and it’s difficult to get into the system and setting.
Awoniyi has been to several clubs on loan but his current spell at Mainz has not been very fruitful but the player said his faith remains unshaken.
“I join teams on short term loans and it hardly helps me. “Liverpool is a club but the player matters more. You can only help look for a job for someone, you can’t help them do the job. On their part as a club, I think they have done great for me, all those loan deals. I’m not the same person I am, I’ve grown. “I have my personal thinking and they think as a club too. I suggest and they have their opinions too. They don’t force me to do anything. “Liverpool are what I wanted and choosing them was a great decision for me. If clubs like Liverpool gave me a condition, and others do too, I check it out. “As at the time Liverpool offered me a contract, European clubs did too and they all said they’d loan me out because I’m young. Going to Liverpool has been the best decision of my life.
“In England, I’ve only been to Liverpool and as a player, I see how they treat everyone and it’s amazing. When I return from my loan deals, they treat me as one of them and it is great. “They always try to make everything get easy, even things outside football.
My dad moved with me to England and they made it possible. They treat me good and it’s the same with everyone. I’m not in same level as Mané and others and they treat me great. You can only imagine. It’s a family club.” “Some journalists asked me in Nigeria about my situation and I told them Liverpool are the best thing to happen to me as a football player, and it will remain so even when I leave.”
Speaking on opportunities at Liverpool, Taiwo said he believes he still has big things to achieve and may be lucky to take his chance if/when presented with one.
“Time and chance is key. Everyone with a ball on their feet is a football player. The quality in Liverpool is great. Mané is Africa’s best. And the truth is, he just didn’t find himself in Liverpool suddenly, he went through processes. Firmino did, Salah did, and for me as a player, this is the process. Mané wasn’t at Liverpool at 22, neither was Salah nor Firmino. It is what it is. Some players may never have to go through all of it but many have to. I might be lucky and be the star guy in one game. Alexander Arnold is 20 and he’s doing well. When I was to go to pre season last summer, I got injured and didn’t go. It’s about time and chance. Honestly, I don’t play in Mainz, and a coach at Liverpool’s reaction will be, “he doesn’t play in Germany, how can he cope here?” This is what I always tell myself. At the same instance, I wasn’t playing in Genk but I left there and started playing and did great. It’s about time and opportunity. “They have an analysis of every footballer on loan and they assess it at the end of every season. “Last season, when I met Jurgen Klopp, he said I’ve seen lots of your videos but you are injured again. I was in Liverpool for rehab. When I was coming to Mainz, he sent me a text and said “good luck”.
Last season was the time to get assessed by Klopp and see what I can offer. That summer would have been a good chance for me because Mané and Salah were away at the AFCON but God knows better than we all do.
Sadio Mane has built a reputation for being humble and down to earth, Awoniyi has something to say on the Senegal Striker.
Sadio Mané is the biggest example of humility to him in Liverpool and he sees him as a good role model already. “Everyone has read a lot about Mané and everything they’ve read about him is the truth. I was in the training ground for my rehab and the coach told me to stay aside and watch the training, and after it, Mané jokingly passed the ball to me. He asked me where I’m from and I said Nigeria and he gave me his number. That’s who he is. It’s a lesson to me and it’s all about humility irrespective of the position you find yourself. Nobody can take it away from him.”
Photo Credit; Liverpool FC