Afcon 2021: Union Berlin make stand clear on Taiwo Awoniyi’s Super Eagles chances

The former Liverpool signing only made his Super Eagles debut last month, but he is one of the attackers who could be in the Nigerian squad to the continental tournament next year

Union Berlin manager Urs Fischer has admitted that the club would feel the impact of Taiwo Awoniyi’s absence should the striker be named in the Super Eagles squad for the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations tournament in Cameroon.

The Swiss manager, however, revealed that the Iron Ones would be delighted to see the Nigerian striker join the former African champions in their hunt for a fourth continental trophy.

Awoniyi only made his Super Eagles debut in October during the World Cup qualifying series, and he may not be the first name on the team list of Nigeria head coach Gernot Rohr.

The former Bordeaux manager prefers Al Shabab forward Odion Ighalo, Leicester City ace Kelechi Iheanacho, Genk star Paul Onuachu, Lorient marksman Terem Moffi as the supporting cast to first-choice striker Victor Osimhen.

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But the Napoli forward suffered an injury that will require surgery at the San Siro on Sunday, which raises doubt about his availability for the Afcon in January.

Awoniyi, who has been excellent for Union Berlin all season, is one of those whose chances of making the Super Eagles squad to the tournament are brightened by Osimhen’s absence.

Should Awoniyi be in the party to Cameroon, Union Berlin would be without the services of their leading goalscorer during the Afcon that is scheduled to take place between January 9th and February 6th.

Awoniyi could miss up to four Bundesliga games and the DFB Cup tie against Hertha BSC at the start of the year.

But Union Berlin manager Fischer insists the Bundesliga high-flyers are not bothered about Awoniyi’s potential departure, but they are rather thrilled.

“We don’t worry about it, and of course, we have it on our radar,” Fischer said, as per quotes obtained from the Berliner-Kurier.

“What could be nicer than representing your country’s colours? Even if it doesn’t help us, we would be happy for Taiwo.”

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Awoniyi has been one of Nigeria’s most clinical finishers in Europe so far this term. The former Nigerian youth international has 13 goals in 19 appearances across all competitions for the Iron Ones, eight of which have come in the Bundesliga.

The 24-year-old’s latest strike arrived as the opening goal in the 2-0 defeat of local rivals Hertha Berlin at the weekend.