Liverpool striker Taiwo Awoniyi has left Belgian First Division A side KAA Gent early, and will now rejoin Royal Excel Mouscron on loan.
Awoniyi signed a new long-term contract with the Reds before departing for Ghent in July, and quickly took up a key role under manager Yves Vanderhaeghe, scoring three goals in 13 games.
But with Vanderhaeghe then sacked after a 5-1 thrashing at the hands of KRC Genk in October, the Nigerian’s prospects diminished under his replacement Jess Thorup.
Having previously averaged 61.7 minutes on the pitch per game, this dropped to just 16.9, with Thorup exclusively utilising him as a substitute.
Given he was sent out on loan in order to secure a UK work permit, this was deemed unacceptable by Liverpool, with Awoniyi and Gent agreeing a mutual termination of his deal.
Unable to return to Merseyside to play competitive football, Awoniyi is in line for an extended stay in Belgium, and a return to Mouscron.
He scored 10 and assisted seven in 31 games in an eye-catching spell at Stade Le Canonnier in 2017/18, and their determination to finalise another deal paid off as Liverpool confirmed a new agreement on Friday evening.
Awoniyi, still only 21, has rarely been spotted at Melwood since his £400,000 move from the Imperial Soccer Academy in 2015.
He has been loaned out since, calling FSV Frankfurt, NEC Nijmegen, Mouscron and Gent temporary homes over the past three-and-a-half years.
“I’m a Liverpool player for more years and the plan is to keep on working hard and hopefully get back here one day,” he told the club’s official website in the summer.
“At the moment, I don’t have a work permit. I’ll go on loan again and keep on working hard as much as I can.
“When I was told about the contract I was so eager to get it done, to move onto the next stage, going out on loan or being a Liverpool player.
“My ambition is to work hard wherever I find myself and hopefully be a better player.”