Owen hails Awoniyi’s impact at Forest

Liverpool legend Michael Owen has hailed Taiwo Awoniyi for his late-season goal flurry, which was a huge factor in helping Nottingham Forest avoid relegation in the just concluded 2022/23 English Premier League season.

Awoniyi found the net for the fourth game in a row as Nottingham Forest were forced to a 1-1 draw by Crystal Palace on Sunday as he finished the season with 10 goals on his active return to the English topflight.

Just past the half-hour mark, the Nigeria international beat the offside trap, composed himself after dislodging a defender before slotting beyond Eagles goalkeeper Sam Johnstone.

And in doing so, he became the first Nottingham Forest player to score in four consecutive appearances in the Premier League since 1995.

Awoniyi started his run of good form when he notched a brace against Southampton, he scored another brace against Chelsea, once against Arsenal and was also on target against Crystal Palace, which was his sixth goal in four games over the past couple of weeks.

Reviewing the Crystal Palace versus Nottingham Forest encounter, Owen said on Premier League Productions, “He (Awoniyi) scored half a dozen goals, six in four, at just the right time, just when you need him. Forest again I think they will be even better next season.”

Despite missing a part of the season through injury, he finished as the club’s highest goal scorer with 12 goals in all competitions, one goal more than Brennan Johnson, who had 11.

Awoniyi was on target against seven different teams in his first season in the Premier League, namely West Ham United, Fulham, Liverpool, Southampton, Chelsea, Arsenal and Crystal Palace, putting Forest 1-0 up in each game.

As a result, the Super Eagles striker became the first player since the 2004/05 season to open the scoring more times in a single season for a newly promoted club.

Awoniyi initially joined Liverpool in 2015, but inability to secure a work permit resulted in several loan moves for the Nigerian striker, before he was eventually signed by German club Union Berlin, where he later moved back to England with Forest after the Tricky Trees gained promotion to the EPL last season.

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