For Taiwo Awoniyi, who is on a hot streak in the Bundesliga, Liverpool remains “one of the best things” to happen in his young career despite never having made a senior appearance.
The 24-year-old is, unfortunately, an example of young players who struggle to land a work permit and instead need to find experience through the loan system.
Awoniyi spent six years on Liverpool’s books and by the time he left on a permanent deal to Union Berlin in a £6.5 million deal in the summer, he had featured for six different clubs.
Having spent his entire Liverpool career on loan he would receive his work permit in the months preceding his exit but he would still have found opportunities hard to come by at Anfield.
Now, he is in impressive form having scored 12 goals in 17 appearances for Union, with two assists also credited to his name – earning him his first senior call-up for Nigeria in October.
A first cap would then arrive to make for a memorable 2021 for Awoniyi, who has certainly found a home with Union and while it wasn’t the case at Liverpool, the striker had nothing but positive words for his time with the Reds.
“I have always said that Liverpool is one of the best things that happened to me as a footballer because they gave me the platform to achieve my dream and with them, I have no regret at all,” Awoniyi told Tribal Football.
“I do not see not being able to play a game in the Premier League as a regret because in life, with time, everything is still possible.
“So I can count my time as a Liverpool player as something great for my career.”
Awoniyi did concede that he was caught unaware with the “work permit issues” which would deny his Liverpool chance but despite knowing what he does now, he “did not make a bad decision to sign” for the club.
“Life is a journey. Everyone has different steps to take and routes to follow. Our destinies are different,” he added.
“I signed for Liverpool at a period in my young career as a footballer, when I did not understand how it works with work permit issues, but at the end we are still here talking about it.
“It shows that I did not make a bad decision to sign for Liverpool. With other players, they can have the work permit immediately.”
The loan experiences will have certainly shaped him as a player but now that he is forging ahead in his career thanks to a permanent move, it is certainly a welcome sight.