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Liverpool legend Michael Owen has highlighted the qualities that make Taiwo Awoniyi a difficult striker to face.



Liverpool legend Michael Owen has highlighted the qualities that make Taiwo Awoniyi a difficult striker to face.

The performance of the Nigeria international was one of the major highlights as Nottingham Forest edged Southampton 4-3 in a seven-goal thriller in a Premier League encounter at the City Ground on Monday night.

Awoniyi netted two goals in three and a half minutes to give Nottingham Forest the advantage after twenty minutes.

The Super Eagles star gave Forest the lead in the 18th minute when he shot beyond goalkeeper Alex McCarthy following a counter-attack and did well to hold off a Southampton defender before volleying home to double the advantage.

Speaking post-match on Premier League Productions, Owen was impressed with the performance of Awoniyi against Southampton, noting that the Nigerian offers pace and physicality.

Owen remarked : “You see the goalscorer, I’m not going to try to pronounce his name (Awoniyi). He’s scoring goals, he’s got pace, he can finish like he did with the first one, and then he gets with his back to goal as well.

“He’s equally as dangerous like that so very hard to play against because a lot of players that maybe haven’t got pace, you can try to squeeze them outside the box.

“But when you’ve got both, when you can do that and you can run in behind, and you’ve got pace and strength as well then all of a sudden you become a real problem for defenders.”

In twenty four Premier League matches, Awoniyi has registered six goals and one assist.

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Liverpool given transfer encouragement as Jürgen Klopp should take second chance for $44m target

Liverpool is embarking on an interesting rebuild project, centered particularly on the club’s midfield. Perhaps no transfer window has been as exciting as the upcoming one since Jürgen Klopp’s first summer window in charge of the club.

Back then one of the biggest transfer saga of the summer as Klopp looked to bolster his midfield was the pursuit of then-21-year-old, Piotr Zieliński. Plying his trade for Empoli at the time, the Polish international was even spotted wearing a Liverpool shirt on TV, and in an interview confirmed there had been talks about a potential transfer.

“There is a lot of truth in the interest of manager Klopp in me,” Zieliński told Sportowefakty back in 2016. “There was contact between the clubs, I don’t deny that, but personally I didn’t talk to Klopp. I don’t want to worry about it now when we have a few more games to play in Empoli and then the European Championship. The club and national team are the most important now.”

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The rest is history, of course: Zieliński moved to Napoli and has played a huge role in leading the club back to its former heights lifting the scudetto for the first time in 33 years this season.

He has contributed to the club’s campaign with 17 goal contributions in total from midfield and even caught the eye against Liverpool with a devastating performance scoring twice and registering one assist as Napoli annihilated Klopp’s side 4-1 on their home turf in the Champions League.

But having played 325 games for the club, and entering his prime years, it seems like Zieliński may be open for a new challenge away from Naples and the club might be open to selling him as well.

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It was telling that as Napoli sought to secure the league title, Zieliński was the first to be substituted against Salernitana and then sat on the bench for the club’s next two games. That’s an indication that Napoli is planning for a future without him.

Still yet to extend his contract expiring in 2024, now would be an opportune time for the 28-year-old to move away from the club.

According to Meczyki, that possibility is definitely on the cards, and Liverpool seems like the most likely destination at the moment. Seven years after the club failed to recruit him for the first time, as Klopp begins his midfield rebuild, Zieliński would definitely be an ideal fit in terms of his offensive ability giving a new dimension to Liverpool.

Given his contract situation, Liverpool would definitely have an upper hand in negotiations and could almost certainly lure the Polish international for a cut-price. Transfermarkt values him at $44m (£35m/€40m).

Piotr Zieliński is on Liverpool’s transfer radar once again and now could be the time for him to leave.

(Image: Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Someone who can play in various different roles across the midfield, Zieliński brings technical excellence and a lot of dynamism at the heart of any team he plays for. Devastating in the final third as well, his energy could elevate Liverpool to another level.

At 28 years old, he is still in his prime and could go on for several more seasons. One huge asset is the fact that he has only missed four games due to injury during his entire time at Napoli. He has never missed more than three league games in an entire season as well, with his fewest league appearances in a season coming at 35 matches.

Liverpool needs someone as reliable and given the club will be losing a lot of experienced midfielders such as James Milner and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, bringing in someone of Zieliński’s caliber could be just as important as rejuvenating the midfield with younger options as well.

All is not lost that is delayed. Seven years in waiting, perhaps Zieliński might just don the red strip of Liverpool once again this summer.

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