|Ayegbeni Yakubu: Awaiting the call from Nigeria [GALLO/GETTY]|
English Premier League club Everton are likely to be without in-form striker Aiyegbeni Yakubu for a month early next year after the 25-year-old said he planned to play for Nigeria in the African Nations Cup.
The $22.8 million club-record signing from Middlesbrough in August scored a second-half hat-trick in Everton’s 3-0 home win over Fulham on Saturday, taking his season’s tally to nine and extended Everton’s unbeaten run to 10 games.
However, Yakubu, who had fallen out with Nigerian team management earlier this year, now says he wants to represent them in the Nations Cup in Ghana from January 20 to Feburary 10.
During that period he could miss five league games, in addition to possible FA and League Cup matches.
“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,” he told English newspaper the Daily Telegraph.
“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.”
Many leading English sides are likely to be without African stars such as Didier Drogba, Kolo Toure and Michael Essien during the Tournament.