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Former Arsenal striker has sealed a return to England for £2.7m transfer fee as Full Arsenal squad for Premier League revealed



Former Arsenal striker Chuba Akpom has sealed a return to England.

It was confirmed on Saturday [September 19] that the 24-year-old has swapped PAOK for Middlesbrough with the Championship club paying a transfer fee in the region of €3m (£2.7m).

And Boro boss Neil Warnock is very happy with the deal.

“I’m delighted to finally have got him,” he said. “He’s been my number one choice. I’ve wanted him for a long time. I’d like to give a big thanks to Neil Bausor for getting it done.

“I told him what we were doing at the club, and right from day one, he wanted to come, and I’m delighted.”

The deal which seals Akpom’s return to England will be welcome news for the Arsenal as they are in line to receive a surprise welcome windfall which will help to boost their transfer budget.

A deal taking Akpom to the Riverside Stadium could see the Gunners pocket a fee in the region of just over a £1m. That is because of an 40% sell-on clause which was negotiated before the forward joined PAOK two years ago.

However, the clause landed Arsenal in hot water with FIFA as they were handed a fine of 40,000 Swiss francs ($42,300) and warned about its conduct regarding player transfers.

“The committee considers that, by the mere existence of these clauses, Frosinone and PAOK FC are influenced by Arsenal in employment and transfer-related matters,” FIFA disciplinary committee member Thomas Hollerer wrote in the verdict document.

“The committee considers that the relevant clauses undoubtedly grant Arsenal the ability to influence in employment and transfer-related matters the independence, policies and the performance of PAOK FC and Frosinone’s teams.

With that said, 40% of £2.7m is £1.08m, and whilst that’s not a massive fee, it could be used to fund a move for Runar Alex Runarsson. understands the Iceland international has travelled to London to complete a £1.5m transfer and meet his new teammates at the club’s training ground, as first reported by Goal.

And with Arsenal said to be interested in big-money deals for Thomas Partey and Houssem Aouar, the Akpom windfall could come in handy as they won’t have to touch the £20m received from Aston Villa for Martinez.

Full Arsenal squad for Premier League clash against West Ham United revealed

The Gunners are back in action a week after beating Fulham 3-0 as they take on a West Ham United side who were beaten 2-0 in their opener at home to Newcastle United.

It finished 1-0 to the hosts in the corresponding fixture last season – one of the final games before football was suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic – and Mikel Arteta admits he wasn’t best pleased with the performance from his side on that occasion.

“Well, it was ages ago. But obviously when I started to look back at the game and what we did, I think we were lucky that day to win the game,” he said in his pre-match press conference.

“They created a lot of issues, we did not control certain important aspects of West Ham’s threats and we have to be better tomorrow.

“Well they have many strengths and some weaknesses, like we all have.

Full Arsenal squad

Goalkeepers: Bernd Leno, Matt Macey

Defenders: Hector Bellerin, Kieran Tierney, William Saliba, Gabriel, Rob Holding, Cedric, David Luiz, Sead Kolasinac

Midfielders: Bukayo Saka, Dani Ceballos, Mesut Ozil, Lucas Torreira, Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Mohamed Elneny, Joe Willock, Matteo Guendouzi, Granit Xhaka

Forwards: Alexandre Lacazette, Willian, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe, Reiss Nelson, Eddie Nketiah

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