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Sports News of Tuesday, 11 January 2022


AFCON 2021: Union Berlin boss expresses concern over Awoniyi's fitness

Taiwo Awoniyi Taiwo Awoniyi

Awoniyi is in contention for a starting shirt when Nigeria squares off against the Pharaohs, but his German boss is not so confident

Union Berlin Sports director Oliver Ruhnert is worried that if his star striker Taiwo Awoniyi does not feature in any of Nigeria’s games at the Africa Cup of Nations, he could lose his fitness.

Awoniyi has been one of Die Eisernen’s best players this season and arguably the best Bundesliga signing of the season.

The former Liverpool man is the highest goalscorer for Union Berlin this season, and his eye-catching displays earned him a place in the 28-man squad that would make the charge for Nigeria’s fourth AFCON title in Cameroon.

However, his role in the team is not yet defined. The absence of Victor Osimhen and Odion Ighalo could present him a chance to impress.

Still, his spot is not yet confirmed, as interim Super Eagles boss Augustine Eguavoen has kept his cards close to his chest.

Due to this uncertainty, his German boss has expressed his fears concerning his star man.

“We hope that he gets a little bit of work so that he stays in rhythm,” Ruhnert told Berlin sport. “On the other hand, you naturally hope that he will remain injury-free and come back healthy so that we can be an alternative as quickly as possible.”

Awoniyi will hope to make the starting eleven when the Super Eagles begin their campaign against the Pharaohs on Tuesday, January 11.