Celtic-linked Bundesliga striker Taiwo Awoniyi has finally been granted a work permit to play football in the United Kingdom, according to the Liverpool Echo.
Back in January, Celtic were reported to have been leading the chase for the striker, who was on loan from Liverpool at Union Berlin this term [90Min]. Since then, however, the speculation has gone cold.
The Echo believes that Liverpool aren’t actively looking to sell the big striker. However, should they receive an offer in the region of £8m-£10m for him, that could change their thought process.
Awoniyi has been with the Anfield club since 2015. However, a failure to bag a work permit has meant that he’s incredibly spent the last six years out on loan. Indeed, Awoniyi has played in Belgium, Holland, and Germany during his time as a Liverpool-owned player. This season five goals and four assists in 19 Bundesliga appearances before picking up an injury that halted his campaign [Transfermarkt].
Bundesliga forward Taiwo Awoniyi would cost big money
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Celtic going out and splashing the cash for an Edouard replacement. In fact, the truth is it would be actively encouraged. Given Edouard was signed for £9million and turned out to be a massive hit [Sky Sports].
However, what Celtic have to weigh up is whether the prospect of signing Awoniyi would lead to a positive goal return. It’s fair to say that the big Nigerian doesn’t have best goal to game ratio throughout his career.
He only bagged three goals for both Genk and NEC Nijmegen despite bagging 22 appearances for both. With Mainz in Germany last season, he would only score one in 12 appearances [Transfermarkt]. To say he’s been prolific would be an insult to your intelligence. He’s been anything but.
We’ve also seen the danger in bigging up EPL talents and thinking they’re better than they are. Look at the horrific loan spells for both Shane Duffy and Jonjoe Kenny in particular.
But in fairness to Awoniyi, he’s been robbed of stability throughout his career. He’s only 23 and has spent the last six years out on loan and spending no more than one season at his clubs. A permanent move could be just what he needs to explode.
It’s difficult, however, to shrug off that hefty price tag. Not that Celtic can’t afford to splash it out, but you would want a better goal pedigree than what Awoniyi offers for that sort of cash.