Taiwo Awoniyi has completed a permanent move away from Liverpool after six years that saw him farmed out on loan without making an appearance for the first team.
When the Reds announced the £400,000 deal to sign Awoniyi from the Imperial Soccer Academy in 2015, his arrival was shrouded in mystery.
Like Brazilian midfielder Allan Rodrigues before him, the Nigerian striker’s transfer to Liverpool came as a major surprise, a relative unknown plucked from out of the blue.
His time with the club, however, failed to materialise into a first-team place, and after six years and seven loans, Awoniyi has left on a permanent basis.
The 23-year-old was permitted to leave Liverpool’s pre-season training camp in Saalfelden to make the trip north to Germany, after agreeing a £6.5 million switch to Union Berlin.
Liverpool also negotiated a 10 percent sell-on clause in the deal.
Awoniyi scored five goals and laid on four assists in 22 appearances on loan with Union last season, and only injury stopped him from retaining his place as first-choice striker under Urs Fischer.
The Bundesliga club were suitably convinced of his talents over a campaign in Berlin and have landed a deal ahead of the likes of
For Liverpool, the agreement guarantees a profit of £6.1 million, bringing in over 16 times the fee they paid to sign him as an 18-year-old.
It is a strange situation for player and club, particularly as he was only granted a UK work permit this summer, but the experience should ultimately benefit Awoniyi as he has been able to carve out a reputation in a top-flight European league.
Awoniyi’s exit comes after deals for fringe players Marko Grujic, Kamil Grabara and Liam Millar, and is due to be followed by a number of other departures in the coming days.
Good luck, Taiwo!