The New Raving Young Nigerian Striker | Taiwo Awoniyi, Ready for the Big Stage

 Taiwo Awoniyi has been a special revelation this year. Everyone watched with awesome wonder how the young lanky striker has matured into a top notch footballer.

Awoniyi scored 6 goals to win both the highest goal scorer and the most valuable player (MVP) at the Super 6 tournament in February. In March, he spearheaded the strike force of Nigeria’s U20 team, Flying Eagles, to win CAF African U20 Championship in Senegal. He scored 3 goals to become the second highest goal scorer, behind his captain, Muhammad Musa.

Awoniyi and some of his team mates of the U20, where called up to be part of Lusaka rescue mission, by Samson Siasia, the Nigeria’s U23 Head Coach. This was after the Dream team played a barren draw against Zambia in Abuja and Siasia didn’t want to take chances at the return leg in Lusaka.

It did pay-off! Awoniyi scored a brace and helped Nigeria’s U23 side secure qualification for the All African Games, with 1 – 2 defeat of the host in Lusaka.

As it is now, with most Super Eagles strikers miss-firing, we may see Awoniyi hustling from the U20 to U23 and then to the senior national team intermittently. It may be difficult for any coach to overlook such a player with a big heart, who is poised to deliver anytime he is called upon.  Not even the re-signed head coach of Super Eagles, Stephen Keshi. All eyes are upon this young lad right now.

Awoniyi was discovered from Imperial Academy in Agege Lagos and was first introduced at FIFA U16 world cup in Dubai, after the Golden Eagles first choice striker, Isaac Success, got injured in the first match of the world cup. Since then, Awoniyi has not looked back.

He signed for Kalmar FF U21 shortly after the Golden Eaglets won FIFA U16 World cup in 2013 and quickly became a mainstay for the Swedish side. He scored 18 goals in 2013/14 season.

There are rumors going round that the English Premiership contender, Liverpool, are  interested in his services and may sign him when the  Summer transfer window open in July. But Awoniyi said no agent or scout have contacted him regarding the said Liverpool interest..

Whatever, but with the way Awoniyi is going, I will not be surprise if after FIFA U20 World cup in May,  he becomes the most wanted footballer in the world.

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