Former Arsenal midfielder Adrian Clarke has explained why Taiwo Awoniyi is the ideal striker for newly promoted Nottingham Forest.
Awoniyi joined Nottingham Forest from Bundesliga outfit Union Berlin for a club-record £17.5m.
The 24-year-old signed a five-year deal and became the Premier League side’s first international signing of the summer.
He scored 20 goals in 43 games across all competitions last season. His 15 goals in 31 Bundesliga matches also helped Union Berlin secure a fifth-place finish and qualification for the Europa League for the first time since 2001/2002.
And Clarke, 47, who was an Arsenal player from 1991 to 1997 and a tactics columnist for the official Premier League website, wrote:”The signing of Nigeria striker Taiwo Awoniyi looks an ideal fit for Nottingham Forest.
“During their Championship promotion campaign, head coach Steve Cooper settled on a 3-4-1-2 formation that paired star man Brennan Johnson with a strong, powerful No 9.
“Awoniyi is extremely similar to Keinan Davis, who proved the ideal foil for Johnson last term while on loan from Aston Villa.
“The summer signing scored an impressive 15 Bundesliga goals for Union Berlin in 2021/22, a side who averaged only 43.3 per cent possession.
“Leading the line for a Forest team who will also build their play for turnovers and counter-attacks, the former Liverpool forward’s physique and running power means he has the potential to function equally well for his new club.
“Eight of the 13 non-penalty goals the 24-year-old scored last season involved him racing on to through-balls with space ahead of him.
“Playing on the shoulder of the last man, waiting for passes to be sent in behind, Awoniyi was at his best when holding off defenders to score from 1v1 situations.
“Last season, Cooper’s side turned defence into attack with incredible speed and precision, aided by a quick and mobile front two.
“The two-footed Awoniyi is at his best in a team who play this way.
“He does not have a record of scoring lots of goals from crosses. Instead, Awoniyi uses his strength and quality to overpower central defenders.
Clarke stated further:”Forest have also recruited a striker who likes to press defenders and force mistakes.
“Awoniyi won the ball back himself to start goal-ending sequences five times for Union Berlin last season.
“No other player in Germany’s top flight could top that.
“Cooper’s side will be eager to create as many chances as they can from regains made in advanced areas of the field.
“Awoniyi scored 0.53 non-penalty goals per 90 minutes last term, which placed him among the leading lights in the Bundesliga.
“With that kind of strike-rate it is easy to see why he was of interest to Forest this summer.“
“The front man did spend six years as a Liverpool player between 2015 and 2021 and was loaned out to several clubs around Europe throughout that period.
“Despite developing well as an all-round player Awoniyi did not plunder more than seven league goals in a season for any of those sides, managing only 13 in 89 appearances across the three campaigns that preceded 2021/22.
“Last season was his breakthrough year, scoring 20 goals for Union Berlin in all competitions, including four in the UEFA Europa Conference League.“
And to succeed at Nottingham, Clarke adviced Awoniyi on what to do.
“To succeed at the City Ground, Awoniyi must hit the ground running and build on the confidence he has right now.
“From a tactical perspective he is tailor-made to shine at the top end of the pitch for Forest.“Copyright © 2021 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.