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Liverpool’s forgotten man insists club ‘will always be priority’ after nightmare wait

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Union Berlin’s on-loan Liverpool winger Taiwo Awoniyi remains determined to prove himself to Jurgen Klopp despite having been ineligible to feature for the Reds since joining in 2015.

The 23-year-old is yet to secure a work permit in order to play Premier League football, a setback which has seen him shipped out on loan a number of times to the likes of FSV Frankfurt, Mainz and now Union Berlin.

He has impressed this season in the German capital, establishing himself as a regular member of the side and scoring five times in the process.

Despite his forced absence from Klopp’s first-team plans, Awoniyi has revealed that he is still aiming to force his way into the side once his work permit fiasco is finally resolved.

Awoniyi is spending the season on loan with Union Berlin

“Liverpool will always be the priority for me and I am grateful to everyone at the club,” he told World Soccer Magazine.

“I still don’t have the work permit to play in England. But with the new rules in place, and the minutes I have played this season in Germany, no one knows what the future holds regarding the UK work permit.

“If I become eligible to play in the UK, I think I can have a say on what my decision will be.

“Things have changed remarkably with the new rules and this will certainly help decide my next step.”

Awoniyi’s career to date as a loanee journeyman has seen him turn out for clubs in the Netherlands and Belgium, as well as in Germany.

AUGSBURG, GERMANY - JANUARY 23: Taiwo Awoniyi of 1. FC Union Berlin is challenged by Jeffrey Gouweleeuw of Augsburg during the Bundesliga match between FC Augsburg and 1. FC Union Berlin at WWK-Arena on January 23, 2021 in Augsburg, Germany. Sporting stadiums around Germany remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Sebastian Widmann/Getty Images)
The 23-year-old has five goals and three assists in the Bundesliga this season

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When quizzed on the potential effects that constantly moving around Europe could have on his mentality and desire to play for Liverpool one day, he suggested that preparation is key, claiming that his spells away from Anfield have made him into a better player as a result of his determined approach.

“It’s always about how mentally and physically prepared you are in every challenge,” he continued.

“Germany is a different ball game entirely, in my opinion, but I think they all help in shaping me.”

Awoniyi is aware that the Reds are still keenly interested in his progress, revealing that the defending Premier League champions have been making regular contact to convince him that he remains a part of their future plans.

BREMEN, GERMANY - JANUARY 02: (L-R) Marco Friedl of Werder Bremen, Taiwo Awoniyi of 1 FC Union Berlin and Jiri Pavlenka of Werder Bremen during the game between Werder Bremen and the 1. FC Union Berlin at the Weser Stadium on January 2, 2021 in Bremen, Germany. (Photo by Mathias Renner/City-Press via Getty Images)
Awoniyi still has ambitions of playing for Liverpool despite his struggles

As a result, he has a strong motivation to continue improving his game in the hope of ending his long Anfield wait at some point in the near future.

“Liverpool is a very special club,” said Awoniyi. “They are always in contract to see how I am doing and to ensure I know that they are also following my progress out here.

“It motivates me to know my parent club is following up and have my best interests at heart.

“Presently I am still a Liverpool player until the last day of my contract, but no one knows what the future holds.

“My dream has always been to play in the Premier League.”

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