"We'll never learn" - @ThatMarcMayo
Deadline day has been built up as a day of excitement and possibility for football fans. Ironically, the end of the January 2015 transfer window has been pretty boring for most, and yet the usually-deprived Reading fans have the bolt-out-of-the-blue signing of Yakubu to lust over. But, while I admire the loveability and past record of the guy, I'm not sure this is a sign of great club management.
Any team with financial issues surrounding Financial Fair Play and a recent plague of high-end contracts for has-been players should learn something about sensibe spending. With that in mind, Yakubu is, unconfirmed but sure to be, on a decent wage, is 32-years-old, and hasn't played in a decent league since 2012. I'd like to get excited about this signing, and I am to an extent, but caution is weighing in by the tonne because we've simply been here before- and it didn't work out last time. Drenthe, Les Ferdinand, Guthrie, Bridge, Sarr et al. all drew this type of fanfare and disappointed.
Add this to the current state of the squad. We have a very similar striker in Pavel Pogrebnyak, and surely the two couldn't play together. Furthermore, we seem to be playing on the counter but with pace a key area in which we are lacking, Yakubu doesn't seem solve this. That leaves the Nigerian to coming off the bench to grab a goal, which might as well be left to the likes of Nick Blackman, or even Dom Samuel.
I want Yakubu to succeed, really, and being on a six-month deal there are claims that money is less of an object. For me, however, an emphasis on youth and building for the future seems to have been lost. Lasse Vibe would have been nice, but you can't have it all, I know. Instead, however, I fear we've ended up with Shaun Goater v2.0.
"It's a no-risk signing" - @RoyalHoops
The only concern I have with the signing of Yakubu is his impact on the Royals' Financial Fair Play; though I think the sale of Cummings and departure of Drenthe will offset any expenditure on Yakubu.
Other than that, though, what's there to dislike? Pogrebnyak is in need of competition for his spot as the lone target man—a position and role Clarke has always wanted in his side—and when it comes to available, affordable and proven scorers I don't think you can get much better than The Yak.
Imagine complaining about signing a striker with this goal record: #ReadingFC pic.twitter.com/VeUBhOGZp5— Hoops (@RoyalHoops) February 2, 2015
Yes, he's 32 years old and no longer in his prime, but we're in the Championship, not the Premier League. Age is no problem when he's been signed on a six-month contract and if, in that time, he solidifies Reading's position in the Championship and proves he's still got it, the doubters of today will be long gone.
If it doesn't work out? He'll be off in the summer, but it will still be seen as a risk worth taking considering his pedigree. Anyway, he's still less of a risk than someone like Eoin Doyle who has only recently begun to score consistently.
Clarke was right when he said it's a no-risk signing.