TT Introduces: Taiwo Awoniyi

TT Introduces: Taiwo Awoniyi

Steven Gerrard has brought plenty of new players into Ibrox to stamp his personal mark on a squad which was certainly in need of a revamp, but he has only brought one striker to the club thus far. 

Whilst the arrival of plenty of new faces has understandably excited the Rangers supporters, it must be duly noted that an overhaul of this nature often takes time to have a positive effect on results.

First and foremost, the players need time to gel and settle into a new system under Gerrard, so it’s not going to be straightforward for the Gers next season.

Gerrard has invested heavily throughout the squad, but he has only managed to sign one striker so far in Umar Sadiq who recently joined on loan from Roma.

Sadiq’s arrival means Gerrard now has two quality strikers to chose from with Morelos also in the squad, but over the course of a full season that number will prove to be insufficient, especially if he wants to play 4-4-2.

With that in mind, he should be looking to sign at least one more centre-forward this summer, although work-permit issues could prevent him from signing Liverpool’s Taiwo Awoniyi – an ideal target for Gerrard to pursue. 

The 20-year-old academy product cannot break into the first-team at Liverpool due to his lack of UK work-permit and he is expected to join a club in Europe in a bid to earn the right to play at Anfield.

Awoniyi spent the previous campaign on loan at Belgian Jupiler Pro League side Royal Excel Mouscron where he established himself as the club’s first-choice centre-forward, scoring 10 goals and providing 7 assists from 31 appearances in all-competitions.

At the spearhead of the attack Awoniyi provided Mouscron with a strong physical presence along with the willingness to run in behind the defence, and his goal-scoring record suggests he has the poachers instinct to regularly find the back of the net.

The Nigerian legend Nwankwo Kanu was impressed by Awoniyi at international youth level and tipped him for future stardom in 2015 and, with Kelechi Iheanahco beginning to establish himself in the Premier League, the 20-year-old could eventually form a fine partnership with the Leicester City player at international level.

Gerrard will have to play the long game if he wishes to sign Awoniyi on loan, but the early signs suggest it’s one worth playing as he could be free to join Rangers as soon as the summer of 2019 if he completes another loan spell in Europe this season.

Whether Liverpool will be willing to sell or allow him to leave by next summer will depend on his performances next season, but Gerrard’s relationship with his former club could play a telling role in Awoniyi’s future.

Rangers fans – thoughts? Let us know below!

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