Taiwo Awoniyi claimed his quest to “have a home” influenced his decision to leave Premier League giants Liverpool for Bundesliga side Union Berlin.
The striker was on loan at the Iron Ones last term, however, he joined the German elite division side on a permanent basis after Union beat challengers Mainz 05 to his signature.
Having put pen to paper on a five-year contract worth £6.5million (€7.5m/$9m), Awoniyi will stay at the Stadion An der Alten Forsterei until 2026.
In his first interview at his new club, the 2013 Fifa U17 World Cup winner explained what inspired his move to Urs Fischer’s squad.
“After lots of loan moves in previous years, I want to finally come and have a home,” the former Nigeria youth international told Union Berlin website.
“I owe so much to Union, so it makes me happy and proud to be back here. It’s fantastic to continue on the great path with the club.
“I will give everything to quickly pick up where I was before my injury.”
Spotted during the 2015 U20 Fifa World Cup in New Zealand, Awoniyi was signed by Liverpool the same year – paying Imperial Soccer Academy the sum of £400,000 ($550,000).
Due to his inability to secure a United Kingdom work permit, he spent the next six seasons out on a series of loans.
He represented FSV Frankfurt in the German second division, Mainz, Eredivisie outfit NEC Nijmegen and Belgium elite division sides Mouscron and Gent.
Union Berlin’s managing director of professional football Oliver Ruhnert stated why his team was interested in the African star.
“We got to know Taiwo last season and we became sure of his qualities. His robustness, his dedication and his unconditional willingness to learn and develop were the deciding factors for us to give everything to make this transfer happen,” he said.
“We greatly appreciate the efforts of everyone involved to find a suitable solution.”
In the 2020-21 season, Awoniyi scored five goals in 21 league games as Fischer’s men finished seventh on the log after accruing 50 points from 34 games.
That position earned them Europa Conference League play-off round qualification.