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Taiwo Awoniyi: Jurgen Klopp more than a legend at Mainz 05

News Taiwo Awoniyi: Jurgen Klopp more than a legend at Mainz 05

Super Eagles forward Taiwo Awoniyi has bagged a crucial goal for loan club, Mainz, in this afternoon’s Bundesliga clash against FC Koln becoming the first Nigerian to score post covid19.

Nigeria’s Taiwo Awoniyi said Jurgen Klopp’s impact at Liverpool is similar to what he is seeing at Mainz 05.

Awoniyi joined the Bundesliga outfit on a season-long loan last summer after finding it difficult to break into Klopp’s team at Anfield.

Despite his distance from Liverpool, the Nigeria youth international disclosed the influence of the Reds’ manager at Mainz, where he spent 18 years as a player and a coach.

“He’s more than a legend here. Everyone is so grateful for all he achieved for the club,” Awoniyi told the Liverpool website.

“The love they have for him at the club is unexplainable.

“When I came to the club, I was seeing a lot of stuff that I’ve seen in Liverpool as well. I believe it’s just more of the same impact and the same process.

“I believe they are still living on the legacy.”

Upon his return to football on Sunday after the coronavirus lockdown in Germany, the 22-year-old forward broke his Bundesliga duck on his seventh appearance as the O-Fivers grabbed a 2-2 draw against Koln.

The move to Mainz 05 is Awoniyi’s sixth loan spell away since he signed for Liverpool in 2015 and he revealed regular playing time makes him forget his worries.

“I would say when I’m playing football I forget a lot of problems,” he continued.

“As a boy coming from Africa, even sometimes when you have nothing to kick, once you have the ball, you forget about most of your worries and you just keep on kicking. I think that was what happened on Sunday.

“Our focus was on getting the goals and equalising, which is what happened in the game.”

Awoniyi believes he has developed his game in Achim Beierlorzer’s side further improvement could earn him a place in Klopp’s squad.

“Coming here is just to make myself better. Even without playing for a while, coming in on Sunday just really shows I’ve really improved since coming to Germany. That’s the goal with being on loan,” he added.

“Even when you are not playing, you just have to be ready and keep on improving yourself and wait for your time as well.

“I don’t think I’m the same player as I was in the last few years. I personally have seen improvement in my game and I believe most Liverpool coaches have seen that as well.

“I just have to be prepared to improve myself and work on my weak points as well. When I’m back at LFC, I hope they will see that.”

Awoniyi will be hoping to help Mainz 05 return to winning ways when they host RB Leipzig for their next Bundesliga fixture on Sunday.

They are 15th on the league table with 27 points from 26 games, four points above the relegation zone.


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