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French striker signs two-year deal with Tranmere Rovers
TRANMERE Rovers have signed French striker Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro on a two–year deal this afternoon.
The 27-year-old comes to Prenton Park ahead of the club's 2012-13 season with his contract coming into effect on July 1.
His career began in France with hometown club, Toulouse. He spent four seasons there and played in the French top flight before moving to Belgian side FC Brussels.
He then helped Grimsby Town avoid relegation from League Two before moving to Rochdale in the summer of 2010. He scored eight times for Dale in 2011-12.
On his new signing, Rovers' boss Ronnie Moore said: "I'm really pleased to be able to add Jean-Louis to my squad.
"He's got pace and power and he’s not afraid to shoot.
"He caused our defence problems when we played at Rochdale in March and hopefully he'll do the same to a lot of other clubs next season.
"I think we should have an exciting partnership up front between Jean-Louis and Ben Burgess, one with pace and one with a lot of strength.
"With Jean-Louis and Ben arriving and Andy Robinson, Adam McGurk and Lucas Akins already at the Club our attacking options are looking a lot stronger.
"But we still want to keep strengthening and there will be more new arrivals before the season begins."
Jean-Louis added: "I'm happy to be joining Tranmere.
"I can't wait for the season to start and to do my best for the Club."
Rovers ended their last League One season with a 1-1 draw against Scunthorpe United at Prenton Park.
Mark McChrystal scored the goal which earned Ronnie's side a final league position of 12th, their highest for three years.
Rovers will play Championship club Bolton Wanderers at Prenton Park on Tuesday August 7 as part of their pre-season friendlies programme.
They will also face League Two sides Fleetwood Town and Port Vale in addition to a number of pre-season friendlies against non-league opposition.
The full list of pre-season friendlies is as follows: Monday, July 23: v Cammell Laird, 7pm kick-off (away); Tuesday, July 24: v Heswall, 7pm (away); Friday, July 27: v Vauxhall Motors, 7pm (away); Saturday, July 28: v Marine, 3pm (away); Saurday, August 4: v Fleetwood Town, 3pm (away); Tuesday, August 7: v Bolton Wanderers, 7.30pm (home); Saturday, August 11: v Port Vale, 3pm (away).
They kick off their new League One campaign against Leyton Orient at Prenton Park on August 18.
Looking forward to the new season, Ronnie said: "It's good to begin at home but we've got to make the most of it.
"We've got two difficult away games the week after the Orient game so we'll want to go into them full of confidence.
"Every manager can look at some months think they look easier or more difficult than others, but that might change once the season begins.
"We've just got to make sure we don't look too far ahead, get through pre-season and start off the season as well as possible."