Brentford striker Ivan Toney marked the end of his eight-month ban from football with a social media post declaring he was “free”.
Toney, 27, is now able to play for the Bees after a suspension for breaking Football Association gambling rules.
Toney has scored 32 goals in 64 Premier League games for Brentford.
“It’s like signing a Premier League striker who can score 20 goals because he’s proved it,” said Bees manager Thomas Frank of Toney’s return.
“Every team would be happy to sign a quality player like him. Ivan is a top player but he’s also very good at making the whole team better.”
Toney has not played a competitive match since 6 May 2023 for 262 breaches of the FA’s betting laws and was handed an eight-month ban from all football activities.
Toney, who has been linked with transfer interest from Arsenal and Chelsea, is set to be involved for Brentford on Saturday when they face Nottingham Forest in the Premier League.
“If Ivan can write it his way, no doubt he would like to come back, do fantastically well and give something back,” said Frank after Tuesday’s FA Cup third round replay defeat by Wolverhampton Wanderers.
“He missed playing football, missed being part of the team. It’s a team he’s really enjoying being part of, with some good mates, enjoying their football together, enjoying playing for Brentford and for the fans.”
If the replay at Molineux, which Brentford lost 3-2, had been held 24 hours later, Frank suggested he would have played Toney, joking that he is an “okay” player.
In his build-up to returning to competitive action, Toney scored a hat-trick for Brentford’s B team in a behind-closed-doors friendly against Southampton Under-23s and last Saturday scored a Panenka penalty in a friendly against Danish side Brondby.
“I have a lot to repay them and I can’t wait to try and do that,” Toney told Sky Sports recently, when discussing the support the club had shown him during his time away from the pitch.