London [UK], June 25 (ANI): Nottingham Forest on Saturday confirmed the signing of Nigerian international forward Taiwo Awoniyi for a club-record fee.
The 24-year-old joins The Reds from Bundesliga club Union Berlin, signing a five-year deal at The City Ground.
Awoniyi becomes Forest's first international signing since last month's promotion to the Premier League and he joins following an excellent season in Germany, scoring 20 goals in 43 games across all competitions. His 15 goals in 31 Bundesliga matches also helped Union Berlin secure a fifth-place finish and qualification for the UEFA Europa League for the first time since 2001-02.
"I am very excited to be here at Nottingham Forest," said Awoniyi following his move to The City Ground. "It's always been my dream to play in the Premier League and having spoken to Steve Cooper about our ambitions and looking at Forest, with its great history, it's a club that I want to be part of."Awoniyi began his professional career at Liverpool, signing for the Merseyside club in 2015 before having loan spells at FSV Frankfurt, NEC, Mouscron, Gent and Mainz 05. He subsequently joined Union Berlin on loan during the 2020-21 season and made the move permanent last July.
Having represented Nigeria at U17s, U20s and U23s level, Awoniyi won the first of his three caps for the Nigeria national team against the Central African Republic in October 2021 and scored his first goal against Sudan in January at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Head Coach Steve Cooper added: "There's been a lot of interest in Taiwo from other Premier League clubs, and other clubs across Europe, so we're delighted that he's chosen Nottingham Forest.""Our recruitment and coaching teams have been monitoring his progress closely over the last few months. He's a player who we really believe in and we look forward to him going on to fulfil his potential and become a top Premier League striker with Nottingham Forest."Folllowing his move to The City Ground, the striker spoke about his discussions with Nottingham's head coach and why he decided to join The Reds amid interest from elsewhere.
"I feel great," Awoniyi said. "I feel very happy to be here. Looking at the project, it's something I'm really looking forward to.""What stood out about Forest were the meetings with the Head Coach and the discussions we had. I can see how ambitious and dedicated he is to his job. My dream is to always keep working and I see him as a person who I can develop under.""For me, it's always about hard work, dedication and believing in God. When I look back at the games with Union Berlin, it was always about the team for me. When I look at Forest and look at the history of the club, it's even more about the team. This is the kind of place I love to belong to and I am ready for it.""Every striker wants to score goals, but I'm ready to work for the team, to fight for every ball, to win every challenge, that's my style and that's what I'm here for," he added. (ANI)