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Was Awoniyi Denied Prestigious Premier League prize?

Was Awoniyi Denied Prestigious Premier League prize?

Taiwo Awoniyi’s debut campaign at Nottingham Forest proved to be something of a rollercoaster, with notable highs in 2022-23 bookending the frustration of mid-season injury issues and a four-month barren spell in front of goal.

The Nigeria international registered the Reds’ first effort in the Premier League for 23 years when finding the target in their first home outing against West Ham. At that point, all looked to be right with the world on Trentside.

The going got tough though, quickly, and Awoinyi discovered that a return to England – having previously graced the books at Liverpool – would be no walk in the park.

Dramatic

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A professional circle was eventually completed, in a roundabout way, with Forest clawing their way to safety during a dramatic sprint past the finishing post. With their top-flight standing secured for another year, the intention now is to push on.

Few will be expecting Steve Cooper’s side to transform from relegation battlers to European contenders in the space of a few months, but anybody fancying them to go better in 2023-24 can take advantage of a BetWinner welcome bonus that could be put to good use across a whole range of markets – from individual match results to final league standings and progress in cup competitions – before a ball is kicked in anger.

Forest certainly boast the ambition to suggest that they will come back even stronger, while important lessons have been learned as a collective after spending much of last season thrashing away in a bid to keep heads above water.

Awoniyi falls into that category, with the African ace now better placed to face the challenges posed by Premier League defenses. In many ways, he did not want the 2022-23 season to end.

He was picking up a serious head of steam as a sporting curtain came down, with six goals registered through his last four appearances. Nobody contributed more to Forest avoiding a trapdoor that leads back down into the Championship.

When bagging a brace against Southampton on May 8, Awoniyi had seen an enforced spell on the sidelines and a slow return to full match fitness and sharpness prevent him from breaking out a trademark celebration routine since January 4.

Once the floodgates opened, there was no stopping him. Nobody scored more Premier League goals than him in the final month of action, and such exploits would usually deliver fitting rewards. For some reason, though, the English top tier does not name a Player of the Month for May.

Prize

If they did, then Awoniyi would surely have been a shoo-in to walk away with the top prize. Few could have argued against his claims to such an honor, with form found in the most dramatic of fashions. At the business end of the season, when nerves can become a little shredded, the powerful frontman delivered a sense of calm to Nottingham.
The hope will be that he can pick up in 2023-24 where he left off. This will be an Africa Cup of Nations year, with Forest certainly hoping that there is more to come. Awoniyi may have been denied one prestigious accolade due to a bizarre Premier League quirk, but time is very much on his side when it comes to righting that wrong.


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