Brentford have re-signed Neal Maupay on a season-long loan from Everton, which includes an option to make the transfer permanent.
The striker left the Bees for Brighton and Hove Albion in 2019, having scored 41 goals in 95 games during his time in west London.
Maupay had the best goalscoring season of his career under Thomas Frank at Griffin Park, when he netted 25 times in the Sky Bet Championship during the 2018/19 campaign.
He was voted Brentford’s Supporters’ Player of the Year and Players’ Player of the Year that season, as well as winning the EFL Player of the Year at the London Football Awards.
Brentford head coach Thomas Frank said: “I’m very happy to have Neal back at the club. He had two great years when he was here last time.
“He was our top goalscorer in the Championship, scored 25 goals, and really helped us progress.
“He’s been on a football journey and now he’s back.
“Neal will strengthen the squad, the front positions. As a player, he’s a very good link-up player, a pressing player. As a nine, he’ll find good positions in the box and I think he’s a good finisher.
“I have no doubt that Neal will come back to us, come into a club and a culture he knows, and will thrive and find a very high level.”
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Maupay made his debut for Nice as a 16-year-old in 2012 – which was followed by 44 appearances and nine goals in Ligue 1 – before signing for fellow French side Saint-Etienne in 2015.
After struggling to break into Les Verts’ first team, he spent a season on loan at Brest in Ligue 2, where he impressed, scoring 11 times in 28 games.
That led to Brentford signing the forward ahead of the 2017/18 Championship campaign, when he scored 12 league goals in his first season in west London.
This was before netting a remarkable 25 goals and recording eight assists the following year, when he was one of only six players across the entire 92 clubs in the Premier League and EFL to be involved in 30 or more league goals.
Maupay also contributed the eighth most key passes (57) of any striker in the division that season.
He left for a then club-record fee to Premier League club Brighton in 2019, and the Frenchman went on to score 26 Premier League goals for the Seagulls, which placed him joint-22nd in terms of the most prolific marksmen in the top flight over that period.
He transferred to Everton in 2022 and played 30 times on Merseyside before making the move back to west London.