Toulouse FC has confirmed the signing of Max Gradel permanently after an initial loan spell, having concluded negotiations with A.F.C. Bournemouth. The Ivorian winger joins Toulouse for a rumoured €1.75m fee but official contract details have yet to be announced.
On loan at Toulouse last season, Gradel was one of the few consistent, dependable performers in an otherwise chaotic and tumultuous season for Les Violets. Providing the club with 8 goals and 1 assist in league play, the Ivorian was one of his team’s best performers.
Most importantly, Gradel performed well come the end of the season. Playing as a left-winger, he had an important role in Toulouse’s Ligue 1 survival, putting up 180 influential minutes during the club’s two-legged promotion/relegation playoff against AC Ajaccio.
In a summer when many of Toulouse’s key players are being pursued by large European clubs, the signing of an established international like Gradel is certainly reassuring for Les Violets. The Ligue 1 side has had successive difficult seasons, finishing 17th or lower in three of the last four Ligue 1 campaigns.
If Toulouse are forced into selling players like Issa Diop and Alban Lafont, affordable but quality replacements like Gradel might be the key to preventing relegation this upcoming season.