Taiwo Awoniyi arrived newly-promoted Premier League side Nottingham Forest from German Bundesliga outfit Union Berlin in the summer.
There was a lot of expectation on the 25-year old, especially as he shined in the German capital last season with 20 goals in all competitions, all of which were crucial in Union finishing in a Europa League spot.
Awoniyi was definitely hot property and that explains why Forest forked out a reported £17 million for his services after they gained promotion to the Premier League for the first time in 23 years by beating Huddersfield Town in the Championship Playoff final.
Eight games into the new season and Forest have only one from win, losing six, the latest coming in a 4-0 bashing by East Midlands rivals Leicester City on Monday night.
Awoniyi already has two goals this season, his first in Forest’s second league match against West Ham United which ended 1-0 in their favour. It was a game that sent the crowd at the City Ground into raptures as it was the club’s first top-flight goal since 1999. Awoniyi’s second goal would come against Fulham in a 3-2 defeat on Forest’s turf.
Awoniyi was close to netting a third on Monday night against Leicester but his effort hit the woodwork after beating his marker.
With six defeats from eight matches, the mood at the City Ground is pretty grim and it raises the question on whether Awoniyi can turn around the fortunes of Forest.
He might be one of the most expensive players in the club’s history but it’s impossible for the entire weight of getting results be on his shoulder. The other departments of the team from the midfield to goalkeeper need to do better.
It also needs to be pointed out that Forest signed more than 20 players this summer after seeing almost that same amount of players depart the club. This means its like a fresh team playing from scratch and it will definitely take time for them to gel.
The Premier League sadly isn’t a place of patience and if results continue to be poor, manager Steve Cooper might be shown the exit door. That might put Awoniyi into the unknown as per whether he would be in the plans of the new manager or not.
It is the hope that Forest bounce back. Awoniyi has shown he has what it takes to shine in the biggest football league in the world and it is also the hope that the former Liverpool man will show more of his qualities which will aid the Tricky Trees.