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The Eagle from Liverpool is starting to take off: Taiwan Avii blossoms at the Union of Berlin - Walla! sport


Liverpool signed the Nigerian striker back in 2015, but 6 years of questions have only brought instability. At the Union of Berlin he found a warm home, and only Lewandowski and Holland occupied more than him

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The Eagle from Liverpool is starting to take off: Taiwi Avani is flourishing at the Union Berlin

Liverpool signed the Nigerian striker back in 2015, but 6 years of questions have only brought instability.

At Union Berlin he found a warm home, and only Lewandowski and the Netherlands have scored more than him this season in the Bundesliga.

Avni has already defeated Maccabi Haifa in September, and tonight (19:45, Sport 4) will try to do it again


  • Union Berlin

Michael Yochin

Thursday, November 25, 2021, 11:30 p.m.

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Summary: Union Berlin - Maccabi Haifa 0: 3 (Sport 1)

For a full 6 years Taiwi Oweni waited for a work permit in England, then - just after the long-awaited moment arrived - he left Liverpool. And he is not sorry for a moment, because after a long and frustrating campaign, the Nigerian striker has found a real home in the Union Berlin. The house is not easy to leave, and Jürgen Klopp also told him simply this summer: "The most important thing is to feel that the club wants you, as a player and as a person. When that happens, you know you are making the right move." How can you not listen to Kloppo?

Quite bizarrely, Avni's tenure at Liverpool was longer compared to the German coach.

Klopp arrived in October 2015 to replace Brendan Rogers, and it was Northern Ireland who confirmed the signing of the Nigerian talent that summer.

Avni was just celebrating his 18th birthday then and preparing for the exciting move to Europe, where his agents summed up all the details with Swedish Kalmar.

Suddenly, they got her face straight from Manfield because the Reds scouts were very impressed with his performance at the Under-20 World Cup in New Zealand.

His good friend Kalchi Ihanacho, with whom he won the World Cup until the age of 17 in 2013, had signed a year earlier at Manchester City, so for Avni it was a dream come true.

"When one of the biggest clubs in the world calls you, you don't think twice," he said.

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To the full article

A journey between the questions survived.

Taiwanese in a Ghent uniform (Photo: GettyImages, Vincent Van Doornick)

In Sweden he was assigned a place in the squad, but in Liverpool - in the absence of a work permit - he could not even train for more than two weeks on English soil without breaking the law. And so began the journey in which the Nigerian was loaned to diverse groups across the continent, and did not really find himself in any of them. This phenomenon is less common in Liverpool compared to Manchester City, not to mention Chelsea's endless loan fleet, but it does exist - and most Reds tend to sell these assets at a profit if they manage to make a positive impression. In Avni's case, it did not really happen anywhere.

At one point he began to doubt himself - was this really the right career? Not fun to be a bench player at FSV Frankfurt who experienced a relegation to the third division in Germany, even less fun to wait almost a year at the end of the roster to score first goals in the Dutch league in the Nijmegen uniform. The cadets in Belgium with Muscaron and Ghent were also quite lukewarm.

In between, Avani was watched at the last minute from Nigeria's Olympic squad, while the call-up to the senior squad did not arrive at all. Once, when he was growing up in a poor neighborhood in his homeland, his father wanted him to get an education in medicine like his sisters, and Taiwan had to consistently prove to him that he deserved a chance to play on the grass. He now had a contract at Liverpool, and money was not an issue, but he felt the potential was lost, and he was disappointing his family.

So the loan in Mainz in 2019/20 was also problematic, but in one of the few games in which he started in the squad, Oweni met Union Berlin and impressed his Swiss coach Urs Fischer. It was not difficult to organize a new question, and in this special club the Nigerian felt it was the right place for him. This place belongs to the fans, and even during the period of the empty stands during Corona, the players heard the cheers of the fans behind the stadium walls, where they watched the games on their mobile devices.

There is something very family-oriented there, and the professional staff has managed to give the Nigerian self-confidence on the grass as well.

Quite symbolically, he was destined to replace the Swedish Sebastian Anderson, who started his career in the squid.

Avni himself never came to Sweden, but maybe that was a sign of closing the circle?

See and be impressed.

Urs Fischer (Photo: GettyImages, Martin Rose)

Last season, the striker managed to put 5 balls in the net, before an injury to a muscle that disrupted him in the spring months. The Liverpool men received encouraging reports, and it was decided for his time this summer to the training camp in Austria, where Sadio Mane took him under his wing. He received advice from the Senegalese, eager to cooperate with Muhammad Salah, but throughout the period it was clear that his chances of screwing into the squad were low to non-existent.

Stoke and Fulham groped about the possible question, because for a change the Nigerian could have played in England with a work permit, but the sub-league was not relevant to him. He was fed up with temporary stations, and Liverpool also knew it was worth taking advantage of the momentum to get a reasonable amount in return. The deal with Union for about 6.5 million euros was very smooth because those involved were happy to the roof.

"This is my home. At Union I was taken care of last season even though I was not her player at all. This is my best chance," Oweni declared - and he was right.

For many years his game was characterized by extreme instability on the grass, but the reason for this was extreme instability in his life.

Thanks to the peace of mind he received for the first time in his career, he is much more focused on the task, and the ascent in the union is brilliant.

In rare momentum.

Taiwan Avenue (Photo: Reuters)

He bombs right, left and punches, and has gained rare momentum.

When he scored in a derby against Hertha Berlin on Saturday, the Nigerian reached eight league goals this season - currently only Robert Lewandowski and Arling Holland are ranked ahead of him.

Along with last season he has 13 concessions in total, and that has placed him as Union's all-time top scorer in the Bundesliga (well, this is only his third season at the top).

To this must be added a goal in the German Cup, and another 4 in the Conference League.

And the team also remembered him at last, and he made his World Cup qualifier debut last month.

At the age of 24, the eagle begins to take off, and who knows - he may still need his work permit in England in due course.

In the previous game against Maccabi Haifa at the end of September, Avni got a rest on the bench, and entered only in the last 18 minutes when the victory was already in his pocket, but that did not stop him from immediately subduing Josh Cohen.

Tonight (19:45, Sport4) he will try to do it again in the away game against the Greens to keep the team's chances of surviving the home stage.

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Source: walla

All sports articles on 2021-11-25

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