Premier League • England

Liverpool exit explained, as striker cites two obstacles that wouldn’t be in his way anymore

Taiwo Awoniyi running in a Nottingham Forest match

Nottingham Forest striker Taiwo Awoniyi

Former Liverpool striker Taiwo Awoniyi has told the club’s official website what his motivations were for leaving on a permanent basis in 2021.

Due to work permit issues, Awoniyi endured seven different loan spells away from Liverpool, at six different destinations, during his spell on their books, which started in 2015. His permanent exit followed in 2021, when Union Berlin kept him on after his final loan away from Anfield.

One year later, though, the striker finally earned his chance to play in the Premier League after Nottingham Forest bought him. The two clubs are due to come up against each other on Sunday, although Awoniyi might not be able to participate because of injury.

Nevertheless, he has been given the chance to reflect on his decision to end his dream of playing for Liverpool a couple of years ago.

READ MORELiverpool transfers: Bayern chief directly responds to Klopp interest in classy £96m forward

He told “For me as a player, that was the kind of environment I had always wanted. But in life sometimes you have to make tough decisions, and I knew for me that I needed to go and play every week.

“You look at the time, there was [Mohamed] Salah, [Sadio] Mane, [Roberto] Firmino and others. I knew the chances [to play] were very, very slim. I knew I needed to get to a place where I was playing every week. It was hard [to leave], but it was a decision I had to make.”

Liverpool attack has evolved since Awoniyi decision

Nowadays, Mane and Firmino are no longer at Liverpool. The former went to Bayern Munich in 2022, but has ended up at Al-Nassr since, while the latter is also now playing in Saudi Arabia with Al-Ahli.

Nevertheless, Liverpool have replenished their attack in the time since they sold Awoniyi with the additions of Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez and Cody Gakpo, so his point would probably still stand.

For Forest, Awoniyi has gone on to score 14 goals from 38 appearances. He is under contract at the City Ground until 2027, by which time he will be approaching his 30th birthday.