Taiwo Awoniyi is gradually becoming a fearsome attacker in the German Bundesliga, forcing Robert Lewandoski and others to look over their shoulders.
A goal in the derby win over Hertha Berlin secures Taiwo Awoniyi’s place in the Union Berlin history books.
The Nigeria forward has now settled in Berlin after his permanent move in the summer from Liverpool and even become the club’s record goalscorer in the Bundesliga, overtaking Max Kruse onto 13. It doesn’t sound a lot, but it’s a monumental amount for a club only in their third top-flight campaign.
Of his 13 goals in 33 league games for Union, eight have come in only 12 appearances this season, putting him behind only Robert Lewandoski and Erling Harland in the standings. His total across all competitions in 2021/22 is 13 from 20, including four in six in Europe.
His second derby goal also puts him among the top scorers in this fixture in the Bundesliga, cementing his place in the history of this multi-layered derby that is fast becoming one of Germany’s biggest games.
“We’re delighted it’s working out with Taiwo like we’d all hoped,” said Union sporting director Oliver Ruhnert. “It’s top how the boy is doing.”
Die Eisernen’s biggest derby win unsurprisingly sparked questions as to which team is the number one in Berlin, but Awoniyi’s arrival at the Alte Försterei has coincided with the greatest period in Union’s history.
Having qualified for Europe via the league for the first time ever, they have been ahead of Hertha in the standings since October 2020 and also picked up 22 points more than the Old Lady since their Bundesliga promotion in 2019.