Reading Football Club are excited to announce that talismanic striker Yann Kermorgant has put pen to paper on a new contract which will keep him leading the Royals’ line until the summer of 2019!
Back in February, thoughts were that the ink had possibly dried on our Frenchman’s final contract in football – the 35-year-old committed to a further season but implied that the 2017-18 campaign could be his last.
However, he demonstrated extraordinary goalscoring form last season; Yann notched 19 goals across all competitions – his best return yet in a career that began in his native France and continued in impressive fashion on this side of the Channel with Leicester City, Charlton Athletic and Bournemouth.
His haul last season included an 89th minute winner at the Cardiff City Stadium, a dramatic double in an incredible comeback at Ashton Gate last January, and braces at home to Blackburn Rovers and away at Nottingham Forest. Of course, no-one will forget his penalty kick in the play-off semi-final that foiled Fulham in front of a packed Madejski Stadium to send Jaap Stam’s Royals to Wembley!
What doesn’t appear on the season’s statistics is Kermorgant’s impact at the back as he used his aerial dominance to clear the ball away from our own penalty area on countless occasions. Nor do the facts and figures truly reflect the influence he has as a strong, determined, hard-working and passionate character within the framework of the first team squad.
An injury suffered in pre-season forced the forward into hip and groin surgery before the current campaign had begun, but he made his first appearance on a teamsheet this season at the weekend – coming off the bench against Boro on Saturday. And Royals fans will be delighted not only to see the powerhouse forward return to the first team fray but also commit to another season at Madejski Stadium.
Royals boss Jaap Stam said, “Yann was a very important player for us last season, not only in the goals that he scored but also as a person with the right mentality and the right character. He has a massive influence within the squad in how he helped pushed other players to progress and lead by example with his workrate out on the pitch and in demonstrating exactly what it takes to get results together as a team.
“Unfortunately he picked up the injury in pre-season so he has been out of action for the last few months, but in what he showed last season he deserved this new deal and everyone is happy he has signed up to stay with us for another year.”
The Royals became Yann’s fourth club in English football when he made the move from AFC Bournemouth in January 2016.
Originally from Vannes in Brittany, the striker represented his hometown side before continuing his career with Châtellerault, Grenoble and Stade Reims before making the move across the channel to join Leicester City in 2009.
A single season with the Foxes was followed by a loan spell with Ligue 1 club Arles-Avignon, before returning to England to join Charlton. He enjoyed a productive two and a half years with the London club, earning promotion to the Championship with the Addicks in 2012, chipping in with a dozen goals that campaign.
In January 2014, AFC Bournemouth came calling for his services; he netted nine goals before the end of the campaign – including a hat-trick against Doncaster on his full debut – and then struck 15 times in his first full season as the Cherries lifted the Championship title to take a place in the Premier League!
After joining Reading last year, Yann netted his first two goals against former side Charlton in a thrilling 4-3 victory at the Valley – and in 2016-17 he enjoyed his best goalscoring campaign to date, surpassing the 17 he scored for Bournemouth in 2014-15 and the same total bagged as an Addick the previous season.
Kermorgant made 39(+9) appearances for the club last season and, now fit again, we look forward to calling him a Royal until the summer of 2019.
Chief Executive Ron Gourlay said, “Yann is as hungry for success and as eager to achieve as ever and it is fantastic news that we have agreed this contract extension until 2019. I am confident he will continue to be a hugely positive influence for this football club and a lynchpin within our first team squad.”
Technical Director Brian Tevreden said, “Not only the goals that he scored, but also the clearances he made, the ground he covered, the attitude and leadership qualities he brought to every game last season – together it tells you how much Yann deserves this new contract at the club and I am delighted he has committed to another year at Reading!”