Liverpool Under-23 striker Taiwo Awoniyi has revealed that his struggle to secure a UK work permit could shatter his dream of playing for the Reds’ first team.
The 21-year-old Nigerian joined Jurgen Klopp’s team in 2015, but is currently in his fifth loan spell outside the country with Belgian side Mouscron.
It was reported in March that Shalke were interested in taking advantage of the situation by snapping the forward up, and it seems ever more likely that a permanent move away from Merseyside could happen.
“It saddens my heart that it’s been difficult to get a work permit for the past four years,” Awoniyi told BBC Sport. “At the end of the season we have to go back to Liverpool to discuss.
“Everyone knows the importance of the work permit and how it works, and that you’d need to play for your national team. If you don’t get a chance with your national team then it becomes difficult to get it.
“Personally, I chose Liverpool because I would love to play in the English Premier League for Liverpool. If God says it will happen then it will, but if not then I can only go on with my life and career.”
Non-EU players can be granted a work permit if they can demonstrate they have took part in 75% of a top-5o ranked national team’s matches – according to FIFA – in the previous two years.
Awoniyi was part of the Nigeria team that won the Under-17 World Cup in 2013, before he played in both the 2015 Under-20 World Cup and the 2015 Under-23 Championship in Senegal.
The Nigerian has not featured since, however, missing out on the Rio 2016 Olympics.
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