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'Awoniyi is not just one of Forest’s key players, but a Premier League star'

Nottingham Forest fan's voice graphic
Nottingham Forest fan's voice graphic

Pat Riddell, The Famous Club

Taiwo Awoniyi was Nottingham Forest’s first signing after being promoted to the Premier League. But just months into his career on Trentside, there were questions about the striker, who had cost a then club record fee of £17.5m.

There are questions no more. On Saturday, Awoniyi became the first Forest player to score in seven consecutive Premier League appearances - and only the third African player to do so.

On top of that, he’s the first player to score in the Reds’ first three top-flight matches in a season since Peter Davenport in 1984-85.

The 26-year-old’s importance to the team was highlighted during the three-month spell he was out with a groin injury last season. Four goals before injury in January and six after, securing the Reds’ safety.

Of course, his talent was always obvious, which is why he signed for Liverpool in 2015 and why he became Union Berlin’s highest-scoring Bundesliga player in history. And the data-driven approach to Forest’s recruitment last summer led him to the City Ground - he was the frontman in a 3-5-2 formation in a team with low average possession, and moved to a very similar set-up under Steve Cooper.

It took a few months to settle but now his pace, strength, hold-up play and goal rate make him not just one of Forest’s key players, but one of the Premier League’s in-form stars.

Will he make it 10 in eight against Chelsea on Saturday?