Yak plan hits Everton
Striker set for African Cup of Nations trip
By Rob Parrish. Last Updated: December 10, 2007 10:04am
Yakubu: Nigeria return
Striker Yakubu Aiyegbeni has hit Everton with the news that he is ready to answer Nigeria's African Cup of Nations call.
The £11.25million summer signing grabbed the first hat-trick of his Goodison Park career in Saturday's 3-0 victory over Premier League strugglers Fulham.
But any joy felt by manager David Moyes will have been tempered by the revelation that his key forward is planning an international return at a key stage of the domestic season.
The former Middlesbrough and Portsmouth player was believed to have drawn a line under his international career after past disagreements with the Nigeria management.
But he now appears to have had a change of heart and could link up with Berti Vogts' squad from 6th January, if called upon.
Yakubu said: "I played a couple of games for Nigeria in the summer and, if I am called up for the African Cup of Nations, I will be going.
"I will be a bit sad because there are important games coming up here, but everybody wants to play for their country.
"I have to play for them and I am ready for it if they call me up."
Despite the prospect of missing up to six weeks with Everton, Yakubu has set his sights on hitting the 20 goal mark for his new club.
He already has nine to his name and is looking to continue the impressive form he has displayed since finding his feet at Goodison Park.
The forward added: "I think I am improving a lot because, at the start, it was very difficult. But I kept saying to myself, 'I know I will score', even when I went four or five games without scoring, I kept believing in myself.
"I am used to the pressure as a striker and at the moment I am doing the right things. If I get more than 20 this season, that will be great for me because that was my target when I arrived here."