The 27 yr old striker has had his fair shares of ups and downs at Everton. Having joined from Middlesbrough in 2007 for over £11 million Yakubu was taken quickly to the Evertonian’s hearts with 21 goals in his first season. His second season was cut short prematurely after he suffered an Achilles tendon rupture in November of 2008. The same injury David Beckham has just got and was out from competitive football for around 10 months. Not a good sign for David I’m sure. He made his belated first team return start in a Carling Cup tie against Hull in September this season. Niggling injuries and lack of form have relegated Yakubu to a substitute bench role at Goodison Park. With 17 appearances in the Premier League this season, 11 of those have been off the bench. So what does the future hold for the Nigerian marksmen?
At 27 years of age Yakubu is coming to a crossroads in his Everton career, supposedly he should be now hitting his peak, but have the injuries taken their toll? One thing for sure is that Yakubu has been a great Premier League player; you only have to look at his goal record. 101 goals in 263 appearances is pretty good going. He is one of only a handful of players to break the 100 Premier League goal mark. Yakubu has always had the attributes to succeed and continue to at the highest level with pace, and strength in abundance. He additionally has a rifle shot that many of the African players subscribe to.
His performance against Hull last week was the sort that occurs from time to time from Yakubu, working himself into good positions and riding the centre backs hard, but missing numerous chances and a penalty. With Everton not exactly having the greatest of striking options, Yakubu is needed to perform now more than ever. Louis Saha is a great player who when his confidence is thriving can go on good goal runs in consecutive games. Yet he is very injury prone and if these two are injured, which happens quite a lot, Everton are looking very thin up top.
Yakubu himself is making it very clear he wishes to stay and continue being at Everton. ‘I think Everton are getting better and better,’ he told the Liverpool Echo. ‘Every season we get better. With the players we have and getting our injured players back I think we now have one of the best Everton squads for a long time. We now hope we can progress as a team and start winning trophies.’
His commitment to the cause is obvious, but does David Moyes have commitment towards him? Yakubu has had a long time out and maybe after a good pre-season which he did not have last year will reinvigorate him. With Everton looking lightweight upfront he may be kept on to bolster the squad. But I can most certainly see David Moyes signing a first choice striker this summer. If that means selling Yakubu to make more funds, he may just do that.
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