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Yann Kermorgant In Elite Reading FC Company

The Frenchman joins a select list of strikers at Reading FC - something not many expected 18-months ago.

Like a fine French wine, 35-year-old Yann Kermorgant just seems to get better with age. The former Bournemouth striker recently confirmed his retirement from the game at the end of next season, something that seems rather premature if this season is anything to go by.

With 17 goals so far this season, Yann has already scored the most league goals by a Reading player since Shane Long's tally of 21 from 44 games in 2010/11. The fact that Kermorgant's goals have come in just 33 starts is even more impressive, giving him a ratio of better than a goal every two games.

In fact, his 17th goal of the campaign against Wigan saw him move up into seventh spot in the list of most Reading goals in a second tier season. While catching Trevor Morley's tally of 22 in the 1996/97, or Long's from six years ago seems remote, there's every chance Yann could get the brace he needs to move level with third placed Dave Kitson's haul of 19 set back in the 2004/05 campaign.

Player Season Goals
T Morley 1996/97 22
S Long 2010/11 21
D Kitson 2004/05 19
K Doyle 2008/09 18
K Doyle 2005/06 18
D Kitson 2005/06 18
Y Kermorgant 2016/17 17

You also have to compare Yann's total to some of the other high profile strikers we've had over the years. The most Adam Le Fondre managed was 15, while Pavel Pogrebnyak topped out at 13. Hall of Famer Gylfi Sigurdsson managed 16 in 2009/10, while Nicky Forster's best tally was 16 and Leroy Lita couldn't get past  11, so Yann's already beaten out some very good forwards.

I'll also use this column to admit that Yann's also proved me wrong as the season has gone on. I'd always felt he was a good signing by Brian McDermott, but worried he wasn't quick enough to really lead the line in the Jaap Stam era. Yet like Long in that 2010/11 campaign, Kermorgant has slowly got better and better as the season has gone on. In his first 19 league appearances, the Frenchman managed just four goals. Yet since bagging on Boxing Day against Norwich he's fired home 13 goals in 22 games, a similar pattern to Long, who managed just 1 goal in his first 11 before hitting 20 in his next 33.

As for where Kermorgant ranks among the best we've had, it's a tricky judgement to make given we've only really had 18-months from him. However, in a vacuum I'd probably take him over the likes of Martin Butler, Noel Hunt, Pogrebnyak, Jamie Cureton and going back further, ahead of Stuart Lovell, Lee Nogan and even Mr Lita. I don't think Yann's quite at the level of a Doyle, Kitson, Long, Jimmy Quinn or even a Forster right now but he's certainly in the same conversation as the likes of Le Fondre and perhaps even Jason Roberts.

You can only wonder what he might have done had he had the chance to play with a Doyle or Long and like Morley, Quinn and Roberts, you have to applaud the impact he's made despite being past his athletic prime.

Ironically, Yann helping us achieve our ultimate aim this season might deny him the chance to really cement his legacy here. Promotion would almost certainly deny him regular game time but if the worst happens and we fail to go up, I wouldn't bet against him playing a key role in another promotion push.

So where does Kermorgant rank among recent Reading forwards? Let us know your thoughts below.