Brentford striker Ivan Toney declared himself “free” as he celebrated the end of his eight-month ban from football on Wednesday.
Toney had been serving a suspension for breaching Football Association gambling rules and he could return to action in Brentford’s Premier League game against Nottingham Forest on Saturday.
The 27-year-old took to social media to mark the end of his ban by posting a GIF of a man holding his arms aloft in celebration, with the slogan “free!” on the bottom of the image.
Brentford boss Thomas Frank said before his side’s FA Cup third round replay defeat at Wolves on Tuesday that Toney “will be absolutely on it and ready for Saturday”.
Toney has been linked with both Arsenal and Chelsea during the transfer window, but Frank is hoping to keep him at least until the end of the season.
“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,” Frank said.
“We’ve done everything we can to help him through this. We’d like to keep him, but we know how football is.”
Toney’s last competitive match was in Brentford’s 1-0 defeat at Liverpool on May 6, but he has been allowed to train with his teammates since September.
He made his England debut during a European Championship qualifying win against Ukraine last March and has scored 32 goals in 64 Premier League appearances for Brentford.
Toney was also fined £50 000 ($63 000) and warned about his future conduct for 232 breaches of the FA’s betting rules.