Enjoying his first sustained run of games since joining Frankfurt FSV on loan, Taiwo Awoniyi netted his first goal for the club on Friday night.
It’s been a frustrating season for Liverpool’s Nigerian striker, who was loaned out immediately to the German 2.Bundesliga side after putting pen to paper at Anfield.
The U23 international has been forced to bide his time for regular action since arriving at the Frankfurter Volksbank Stadion, having to wait until mid-February to actually make his league debut.
But his first spell of match action leading the line for Tomas Oral’s team has seen the powerful front-man gradually show his talent in the recent six league appearances he’s made for the second tier side.
In those outings – five of which have been starts – Awoniyi has displayed promising signs of operating both as a strong link-up man as well as a threat in behind to penetrate opposition defences.
The 18-year-old has come close to scoring a number of times in his recent outings, with some sloppy finishing letting him down at key moments, thus prolonging his wait for a first goal this season.
But there was no such wastefulness on Friday night in Frankfurt’s clash against Heidenheim, as Awoniyi finished sharply to open the scoring with his first goal since his summer loan move in the 2-2 draw.
Latching on to a weak parry from the Heidenheim goalkeeper following teammate Fanol Perdedaj’s strike, the Reds loaned man reacted quickest in the box to slot home on the follow-up, putting his team 1-0 ahead.
It may not have been an exquisite Philippe Coutinho dink or Roberto Firmino stunner, but the natural striking instinct shown is a promising trademark – displaying anticipation and desire in the box to get in the mix and make a difference.
It was a big moment in the teenager’s embryonic career – scoring his first professional goal in European football – and one that should provide a welcome confidence boost for the rest of the campaign.
From here Awoniyi will hope to build on his strike, starting next time out when Frankfurt take on Nurnburg after the Easter break.