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Reading give ‘Yak’ a Royal welcome after Asian adventure ends

The man simply known as Yakubu has returned to England and signed for mid-table Championship side Reading (20/1 chances with Coral for a top six finish) until the end of the season.

Former Everton and Portsmouth cult hero Yakubu will play for his sixth English side, after spells at Middlesbrough, Leicester City and Blackburn Rovers as well, following his adventure at Chinese outfit Guangzhou R&F and Qatari club Al Rayyan.

Royals boss Steve Clarke said on his new 32-year-old striker: “An experienced goalscorer, Yakubu brings a fantastic scoring record to this club and his addition will complement the strikers we’ve already got at Reading and help us to improve as a team in latter stages of the season.

“I know all about him as a player and I have heard very good reports about him as a personality in the dressing room. He is no-risk signing for us and I look forward to him scoring goals for Reading Football Club.”

Ex-Nigeria international Yakubu has a total of 95 Premier League goals to his name, putting him only second on the list of all-time African top scorers in the English top flight, behind Didier Drogba.

He has 114 league strikes, meanwhile, in the country – he played a season in the old first division with Pompey and had a loan spell with then-Championship club Leicester as well.

Reading have had an inconsistent term so far and see themselves down in 16th, seven points above the drop zone and 13th below the play-off places. They are 22/1 chances for relegation.

But the Berkshire side have a good mix of talent up front now, with the likes of Pavel Pogrebnyak, Nick Blackman, Jamie Mackie and Simon Cox to pick from. Whether or not the club need Yakubu as well will remain to be seen, but Reading have lacked goals this term, with 33 from 28 Championship games.

The Royals confirmed on their official website: “Yakubu will be eligible to make his Reading debut in this weekend’s Championship clash at Wolves, subject to international clearance and the normal ratification procedures from the relevant football authorities.

Reading are 11/4 chances to win that match on Saturday.