Premier League icons - Yakubu Ayegbeni

football21 March 2023 04:00

Middlesbrough: 73/25
Everton: 82/25
Blackburn Rovers: 30/17
Premier League titles (0): None

Nigerian striker Yakubu Ayegbeni was one of the deadliest finishes around the six yard box in his time in the Premier League, falling just shy of 100 goals in 10 seasons spent at four different clubs.

The Everton fans would chant, “Feed the Yak! Feed the Yak! Feed the Yak and he will score!” during four years at Goodison Park where he was much admired, especially in his first season when he netted 15 goals in 29 appearances.

Having played in Israel early in his career, he signed, initially on loan, for then second-tier Portsmouth in 2002/03 and helped them win promotion to the Premier League. He made his move permanent for £4-million.

Yakubu scored a healthy 28 goals in 67 appearances over two topflight seasons before moving to Middlesbrough for £7.5 million, at the time a record fee paid for any Nigerian player.

He helped Middlesbrough reach the 2006 UEFA Cup final, which they lost to Sevilla, and the following season joined Everton for £11.25-million, at the time a club record signing.

He was a hit, until an Achilles injury kept him sidelined and he did not start for the club for over the year.

The forward left for Championship Leicester City on loan, but was back in the Premier League with Blackburn Rovers in 2011/12, where he had his most impressive season yet with 17 goals. He moved to China at the end of the campaign.

He scored a total of 97 Premier League goals in 252 appearances. Only Didier Drogba (104), Sadio Mane (111) and Mo Salah (131) have scored more among players from Africa.