Taiwo Awoniyi was on the pitch when Nottingham Forest lost to Liverpool in their Premier League fixture on Saturday.
He scored the only goal of the reverse fixture before the new year to down his former side in front of the City Ground supporters. The goal earned him the full support of his new team and he has paid them back as best as he can thanks to niggling injuries that have plagued him all season.
When Forest travelled to Anfield, however, Awoniyi was unable to get on the scoresheet in front of the fans he never got to play for while he was signed to the club for seven years. He gave a good account of himself, however, showing them a little of what could have been if he was given the chance.
Forest would lose the game by three goals to two, thanks to a 70th minute Mohamed Salah strike which came only three minutes after Morgan Gibbs-White equalised to give the visitors a fighting chance.
Awoniyi helped out in defence in a number of set pieces and in attack, saw a brilliant overhead kick just go above the crossbar. He also forced a brilliant tackle from Ibrahima Konate in the first half. When he was taken off, he got some applause from Forest fans for his showing.
Taiwo Awoniyi was a thorn in the flesh for the Liverpool defenders today as they lost narrowly at Anfield in a thrilling encounter. #9jaFootballers pic.twitter.com/DcdLjCDpeI
— Naijafootballers (@9ja_footballers) April 22, 2023
He has five goals in the season for the team and there is a feeling it could have been more if not for injuries. There is also a feeling he may have chosen the wrong club to move to in the summer as the threat of relegation looms.
West Ham United were the front runners for his signature in the summer. The Hammers were willing to pay what Union Berlin wanted for the striker but he ended up choosing newly-promoted Nottingham Forest who signed him for a club record fee.
Newcastle United also had him pegged down as a main transfer target but following his move to Forest, want for Alexander Isak. That decision has paid off for the Magpies, who are on their way back to UEFA Champions League football.
Southampton were also hot on his tail but it was unlikely that Awoniyi was going to consider a move to St Mary's Stadium. He could have been the difference between them and relegation, however, but seeing as Forest are in 19th and they are in 20th, things may just have turned out the same.
Awoniyi was one of the German Bundesliga's players last season but has now lost relevance in England. It could be his adaptation to the league but it could also be that the club he picked was the wrong fit.
He is currently one of their most prized asset and he could command a sizeable sum for a club of Forest:s stature. However, time looks to be up for the 25-year-old to become a big man in the Premier League.
The difference could lie in a move to a mid-table team like Fulham or Brentford. Both clubs are doing very well and the former Liverpool youngster's profile would work well with the styles of both teams.
It remains to be seen how his time in England will play out but at this rate, he could be fighting for his career once again.
This article was most recently revised and updated 1 month ago