Why Rangers signing Taiwo Awoniyi would bolster their attack
The 23-year-old has caught the eye with his impressive form on loan at Union Berlin in the German Bundesliga this season. Awoniyi has bagged five goals and two assists in 14 league appearances so far, propelling Union up to 5th in the standings, just a point adrift of 4th-placed Borussia Dortmund.
The Nigerian hitman has attracted considerable interest in the January window, with four of his five strikes in the Bundesliga coming since the start of December. As per the report, Awoniyi’s rapid development on loan has also put several Premier League clubs on red alert but Celtic and Rangers are still very much at the front of the queue.
Liverpool snapped up Awoniyi from Nigeria’s Imperial Soccer Academy in 2015 but he has never made a competitive appearance for the Reds due to his failure to procure a work permit in the United Kingdom. Instead, he has spent the last five-and-a-half years on loan at FSV Frankfurt, NEC Nijmegen, Royal Mouscron. Gent, Mainz and Union Berlin away from Anfield.
Taiwo Awoniyi would be a quality signing both Celtic and Rangers after proving his worth as a goalscorer in Germany. The Gers, though, would bag a real coup if they manage to steal a march over their Old Firm rivals in the race to sign the Liverpool marksman.
Steven Gerrard’s side are currently pretty well-stocked in their striking options, especially following the arrival of Kemar Roofe and Cedric Itten in the summer. Roofe has quickly established himself as a key player at Ibrox, featuring out wide on either flank and also up top as a centre-forward.
The former Leeds United man has bagged 12 goals in 21 appearances in all competitions for Rangers so far this season. His impressive form has somewhat reduced the workload on talismanic No.9 Alfredo Morelos, who has been slightly less prolific than usual.
But with Itten yet to establish himself firmly and Jermaine Defoe nearing his swansong at 38, the door remains open for the Gers to bring in another out-and-out striker.
Awoniyi, to that end, would represent an excellent addition to the ranks at Ibrox with one eye on the future. The powerful Nigerian has proven his quality during his loan spells at Mouscron in Belgium and Union Berlin in Germany. That should give Rangers enough reason to believe he would be able to deliver the goods in the Scottish Premiership.
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Rangers need to keep adding more quality to their squad to keep progressing in the right direction after establishing themselves as the outright favourites to win the domestic title this year. Taiwo Awoniyi is clearly a player with a lot of untapped potential and with his best years still very much ahead of him, the Gers should go all out in their pursuit of the Nigerian.