Awoniyi Has Much to Prove and Last Season was a Big Statement


Taiwo Awoniyi scored double figures in the German Bundesliga last season, no mean feat in an elite league and for an African player who has had a rough journey since arriving Europe.

In the Bundesliga it’s Bayern Munich and everyone else; as it has been for 10 seasons, 6 out of which one of theirs has finished as top scorer – Lewandowski alone has in 7 seasons.


Awoniyi isn’t cut from that cloth, not yet – not very many are – and at 24, he’s only reaching his peak, but how long he stays there is entirely up to the kid from Ilorin who caught the eyes at the U17 FIFA World Cup in 2013.
He caught the interests of many following last season’s performances in the German league and the Europa Conference League with Union Berlin – a host including Nottingham Forest.
However, his stats and particularly those collected in Germany, point to the fact that he could be better, perhaps with proper specific training and work ethic.
Awoniyi seems like he’s teachable, hence his next transfer move will be crucial for his development and whether or not he can become a super star at club and national team levels.
At the moment, though he would wrestle the top 9 position at Union Berlin and perhaps where ever he goes next, the Forward is down the pecking order in the National team where Victor Osimhen is the main man.
But when he deputized in Osimhen’s absence at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, he managed a single goal in four matches despite only making his debut at that level.
It was a decent show, but Nigeria’s shock Round of 16 elimination came at a cost for some of the players, maybe him in particular.
But he returned to Germany and with Union Berlin plain coasting in the League, he quickly put all of that somber encumbrance behind him.
According to football stats website, whoscored, data collected from Awoniyi’s performance last season as Union Berlin’s point man in the league shows he could have scored more.
He missed more “clear-cut” goalscoring opportunities than only two players in the top scorers’ chart, and only one of those players scored more goals – you’re correct if you mentioned Lewandowski – but he still finished 6th in the standings with 15 league goals and 1 assist in 31 matches.


It’s impossible to score with every opportunity created, but the currency of any Forward is the amount of goals recorded and the percentage of efficiency based on precision is how one rises or fall from the pedestal.
Surely, there’ll be more scrutiny in the coming seasons – the higher up he climbs – but Taiwo Awoniyi’s biggest challenge will be his own expectations and the capabilities to achieve them, but time is a luxury he doesn’t have in this competitive game.


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