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Work permit delays Akpom Eredivisie debut




The four-time European champions finished third in the Dutch Eredivisie in 2022/23, 13 points behind champions and fierce rivals Feyenoord, but started this campaign with a 4-1 win over Heracles Almelo last weekend.

According to Dutch daily newspaper, Algemeen Dagblad, the former Middlesbrough striker is yet to be granted a work permit in Holland.

It remains to be seen if he will be available for selection when Maurice Steijn’s side takes on Bulgarian outfit Ludogorets Razgrad in the playoff round of the Europa League next Thursday.

The 27-year-old joined Ajax from Championship club Middlesbrough in a deal worth up to £12.2m last Wednesday.

He is yet to feature this season but finished last term with 29 goals for Boro in all competitions to finish as the second tier’s top scorer.

It was the ex-Arsenal striker’s best career return, with a total of 106 goals in 309 senior matches.

“I’d like to thank everyone connected with Boro,” Akpom said.

“Last season was full of memories I’ll never forget and I will be forever proud. Everyone knows what I think of (Middlesbrough boss) Michael Carrick, and I’m sure success is just around the corner.

“For me now, I have an exciting new challenge with one of the biggest clubs in the world, and I can’t wait to get started with Ajax.”

Akpom began his career at Arsenal, coming through the youth ranks to play 12 first-team games, but the majority of his time at Emirates Stadium was spent on loan to Brentford, Coventry, Nottingham Forest, Hull, Brighton, and Belgian side Sint-Truiden.