Yakubu joins Coventry City on trial

Yakubu Aiyegbeni, the former Nigerian international is far from retirement.

Russell Slade, boss of Coventry City FC, a Champions league team in UK has confirmed that Yakubu is now training with the team.

The former Premier League star, famously called Yak, began the training on Monday. The Sky Blues believe he could supply the  vital goals needed to avoid relegation.

It is understood the 34-year-old former Portsmouth, Middlesbrough, Everton, and Blackburn Rovers striker would stay at the Sky Blues for the rest of the season, if he can prove his fitness.

Slade said on Monday: “He’s in, he has had his first training day with us this morning.

“As you know, he’s played in the UK and his scoring records are very good.

“He is 34 now, his last club was in Turkey. He hasn’t played for a while which is the only concern, but great pedigree. Goals wise, it is one in two.

“If that is the sort of thing he can do for us then we’ve got to be interested.”

It is understood Slade believes the former Nigeria international Yakubu ‘looked good’ in training and he will want to assess him in more competitive game situations.

Slade revealed last week a player with a ‘big reputation’ would be joining in training at Ryton today.

Yak  who in 2005 moved from Middlesbrough to Portsmouth for £7.5million, is considering re-establishing his playing career in the UK after a year at Turkish Super League club Kayserispor.

He scored 96 goals in the English Premier League between 2003 and 2012.

The Sky Blues have failed to register a single goal in the last four league games, and with new loan recruits Michael Folivi and Charles Vernam injured, Russell Slade is desperately short of attacking options.

Yakubu, should he sign, could provide the quality and experience the Sky Blues are looking for.

Here’s everything you need to know about the striker:

Where it all began

Yakubu was born in Benin City, Nigeria on November 22, 1982, where he began playing football in the streets without any shoes.

He started his career at Julius Berger FC in Lagos before being loaned out to Portuguese club Gil Vicente.
First break

The Nigerian joined Israeli club Maccabi Haifa in 1998 for $300,000.

At just 19-years-old, Yakubu shot himself to fame after grabbing a Champions League hat-trick against Olympiacos in 2002.

Later that season, he scored a penalty for the Israeli giants against Manchester United in the same competition.

England is calling

Harry Redknapp first introduced Yakubu to the English game when he signed the striker on loan for Championship club Portsmouth in 2003.

The powerful forward helped secure Pompey’s promotion, and was subsequently awarded a permanent deal on the South coast, in a £4m move.

In his first Premier League campaign, Yakubu finished on 16 goals, making him Portsmouth’s leading scorer.

In a £7.5m move to Middlesbrough, the highest fee ever paid for a Nigerian at the time, Yakubu helped Boro reach the 2006 UEFA Cup final in his first campaign.

The Teessiders lost 4-0 against Sevilla on that night in Holland.

Time on Merseyside

Yakubu joined Everton in August 2007 for a fee of £11.25m, which at the time, was the highest transfer fee ever paid by the Toffees.

The forward started his spell at Everton in spectacular fashion after taking just 11 minutes to opened his account for the club at Bolton.

He scored 29 goals during his four years at Goodison Park, before moving on to Blackburn in 2011 for £1.5m.

Dollar signs

After a stint at Ewood Park, he moved to Chinese club Guangzhou R&F in July 2012, on a three-year deal.

He made his Chinese Super League debut in a derby match with Guangzhou Evergrande, and grabbed a late winner to end their rivals’ 34-match unbeaten record at home.

Return to England

The Nigerian striker returned to British soil after his contract ended in China, to sign for Reading in February 2015.

The 34-year-old scored his first and only goal in an FA Cup win at Derby County to put the Royals into the quarter final of the competition.

He was released after one season, and subsequently moved to the Turkish Super Lig after signing for Kayserispor in the summer of 2015.

Yakubu failed to register a single goal in Turkey, and since February 2015, he has only scored the one professional goal.

Now a free agent, the former Nigerian international, who scored 21 goals in 57 appearances for his country, is currently looking for a new club.

His notorious chant “Feed the Yak and he will score” could drown out the Ricoh Arena at some point soon.

With reports  from Coventry Telegraph -NAN

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