It has been a disappointing season for Reading, currently sitting in 14th position in the Championship. Injuries have hampered their campaign but, nevertheless, the Royals are only seven points above the relegation zone and 15 points away from a play-off place.
Last season they narrowly missed out on a top six finish by a single point and the heartbreak of coming so close to a chance of a return to the Premier League has clearly stayed with the club. Steve Clarke took over from Nigel Adkins in December and two wins in their last four matches has eased fears of any relegation worries.
Reading have certainly found goals hard to come by which is in stark contrast to recent seasons in the Championship. Last season’s top scorer Adam le Fondre left the club to join Cardiff in the summer and Reading haven’t found a suitable replacement until now. Simon Cox has managed eight goals but the signing of Yakubu until the end of the season could very well see an end to those problems.
With relegation still an outside worry, Yakubu has been brought in to score goals and steer the team away from any problems they could still encounter. Even though the deal is only until the end of this season, a decent return from the Nigerian will surely win himself an extended contract and give Reading a great chance of attempting a promotion challenge next season.
Now 32, the former Nigerian international has been a goalscorer throughout his whole career. He first demonstrated this in Israel for Maccabi Haifa as he scored 24 times in 49 matches. This form saw him move to England to join Portsmouth in 2003. In his first Premier League season, Yakubu ended up with an impressive tally of 16 goals, followed by 13 the next campaign. A move to Middlesbrough followed for £7.5 million in 2005 where he continued his fine goalscoring record, netting 25 times in 73 league appearences.
Everton then snapped him up, splashing £11.25 million to make him their then record signing. He scored 15 goals in his first season for the Toffees but lost his form which saw him limited to first team outings. Yakubu had to move on-loan to Championship side Leicester in 2011 where his 11 goals in 20 matches won him a move to Blackburn.
In a struggling side that eventually succumbed to relegation, Yakubu still managed an excellent 17 goals. He was still scoring goals during spells in China and Qatar before his English return with Reading, suggesting his goalscoring capabilities are still very much intact.
A big, powerful striker with a fantastic eye for goal Yakubu could be the signing Reading have been searching for since the summer. An excellent career scoring record with just under 100 Premier League goals, Yakubu should have what it takes to succeed at the Championship level.
It might take a bit of time to get used to playing in England again but once he does, Yakubu could well be the right man to help turn Reading’s fortunes around and get them competing at the right end of the table once again.