In 2017, Cameroonian football went into a crisis that turned out to be a disguised blessing. As the country prepared for that year's African Cup of Nations finals, eight senior players declined call ups, opting to stay with their clubs at the height of disagreement with the federation.
It came to be a key turning point for Cameroon, as they not only went on to win the AFCON title, then hosted by Gabon, the competition also brought out some of the best previously untested players. It was a big one for Cameroon, the boss then Hugo Broos and these players as they became national team mainstays.
Most of these players went on to play at the 2019 and 2021 finals and while they have done well so far, it is time for the federation to start checking out new players, to keep the national team conveyor belt running.
So, who are some of the young players that this top African nation should start looking at with the possibility to woo for future call ups, or even as plans get underway for the final round of qualifiers to the 2022 World Cup?
Reims forward Hugo Ekitike is definitely a player to watch and it is no wonder he attracted interest from Newcastle United in January, as well as a reported approach from Borussia Dortmund. At 19 years old, he is Reims' leading scorer in the French Ligue 1 this season and he is eligible for Cameroon despite having been called up by France U21 earlier.
With a few red cards this season, Hugo is definitely a rough diamond that needs attention but sticking to his performance, most SportyTrader tips on betting will surely back him to get on the score sheet more likely than his teammates. He stands out as a player Cameroon should monitor, given his roots to the Central African nation.
Another top prospect that should be on the Cameroon FA's radar right now is Borussia Dortmund's Youssoufa Moukoko. At 17 years old, Moukoko has already featured for the Dortmund senior team, scoring four goals. He is also capped for the Germany U21 team and has three goals in two matches. Born in Yaounde, this is a player that can feature for Cameroon in future.
Born in Yaounde, Elanga left Cameroon for Europe in 1998 and seems to have found a home in Sweden, where he is capped for the U21 and U17 teams, scoring a combined eight goals. He has recently done well at Manchester United and is getting more and more game time. The 19-year old has two goals in nine league matches.
Brentford forward Mbeumo hasn't enjoyed a lot of success in the Premier League as he did in the Championship with Brentford but he is clearly a talent Cameroon can do within the future. The 22-year-old has played five times for France's U20 and U21 national teams but scored no goal. At his age, he may struggle to break through the French senior team and maybe it is time he rethinks his international career. He is eligible for Cameroon.