Nottingham Forest have signed Union Berlin’s Nigerian striker Taiwo Awoniyi for a club-record fee of around £17.5 million.
The 24-year-old joins Bundesliga club Forest on a five-year deal, becoming the first international signing of the summer for the newly promoted Premier League side.
Awoniyi scored 20 goals in 43 matches in all competitions last season. His 15 goals in 31 Bundesliga games also helped Union Berlin secure fifth place and qualification for the Europa League for the first time since 2001/2002.
“I’m very excited to be here in Nottingham Forest,” Awoniyi said after moving to The City Ground.
“It’s always been my dream to play in the Premier League and after talking to Steve Cooper about our ambitions and looking at Forest, with its great history, it’s a club I want to be a part of.”
Awoniyi started his professional career with Liverpool where he signed for the Merseyside club in 2015 before going on loan with FSV Frankfurt, NEC, Mouscron, Gent and Mainz 05.
He was loaned to Union Berlin during the 2020/21 season and made the switch last July.
Awoniyi has represented Nigeria at the under-17, under-20 and under-23 levels, winning the first of his three caps for Nigeria against the Central African Republic in October 2021 and scoring his first goal against Sudan in January at the Africa Cup of Nations.
Forest head coach Steve Cooper said: “There is a lot of interest in Taiwo from other Premier League clubs and other clubs across Europe, so we are delighted that he has chosen Nottingham Forest.
“Our recruiting and coaching teams have been monitoring his progress closely over the past few months. He is a player we really believe in and we look forward to him fulfilling his potential and becoming a top striker in the Premier League at Nottingham Forest.”
What brings Awoniyi to Forest?
European football journalist Andy Brassell to Sky Sports News:
“I think it’s a statement of intent. Awoniyi has been great for Union Berlin in recent seasons and especially last season.”
“He is their all-time top scorer in the league. You look at his strength and the variety of goals he scores, and he was the man who made sure they qualify for the Europa League at the end of the season.”
“He’s someone who can take his own shot and pick up the pieces. What really impressed me is that his really creative attacking partner has done a lot for him – Max Kruse. He moved on and went back to Wolfsburg in January, and Awoniyi took center stage and really likes to take responsibility for the attack.
“I think he will be absolutely amazing for Nottingham Forest.”
Follow the summer transfer window with Sky Sports
Who will be on the move this summer when the transfer window opens on June 10th and close around 11 a.m. on Sept. 1?
Keep up to date with all the latest transfer news and rumors in our dedicated Transfer Center blog at Sky Sports’ digital platforms. You can also catch up on the ins, outs and analysis at Sky Sports News.