Nottingham Forest have signed Nigeria forward Taiwo Awoniyi from Union Berlin for a club-record fee in the region of £17.5m.
The 24-year-old joins Forest from the Bundesliga club on a five-year deal and becomes the newly-promoted Premier League side’s first international signing of the summer.
Awoniyi scored 20 goals in 43 games across all competitions last season. His 15 goals in 31 Bundesliga matches also helped Union Berlin secure a fifth-place finish and qualification for the Europa League for the first time since 2001/2002.
“I’m very excited to be here at Nottingham Forest,” Awoniyi said 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 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 Nigeria against the Central African Republic in October 2021 and scored his first goal against Sudan in January at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Forest head coach Steve Cooper said: “There’s been a lot of interest of 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.”
What will Awoniyi bring to Forest?
European football journalist Andy Brassell to Sky Sports News:
“I think it is a statement of intent. Awoniyi has been terrific for Union Berlin in the last couple of seasons and particularly last season.
“He’s their top goalscorer of all time in the top flight. You look at his strength and the variety of goals he scores, and he was the man who made sure they qualified for the Europa League at the end of the season.
“He’s someone who can create his own shot and pick up the pieces. What really impressed me about him is his really creative strike partner did a lot for him – Max Kruse. He moved on and went back to Wolfsburg in January, and Awoniyi took centre stage and is happy to really take responsibility for the attack.
“I think he’ll be absolutely terrific for Nottingham Forest.”
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