No right thinking analyst or pundit can question the presence of the all conquering Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana in the team, given the outstanding season he is having with his club Ajax Amsterdam. They are currently top of the log in the Dutch Eredivisie and defeated Willem 2 to lift the Dutch cup trophy with Onana as their undisputed number one shot stopper. He made 54 saves in 18 games in the champions league alone this season including the six games in the qualifying stages. He made five saves against two for Hugo Lloris in that painful elimination against Tottenham in the Champions League semifinals. He has kept 15 clean sheets in 31 Dutch Eredivisie appearances this season, he greatly deserves his place.
As for Fabrice Ondoa, he gained favour in the eyes of Hugo Broos during the playoffs and he relegated William Dutoit to the bench for Oostende. Apart from that he is the Afcon winning goalkeeper so there is little or no complain to see him on the plane to Egypt.
Kameni Idriss Carlos, remains the one whose call up the coaches and shadow workers have been trying to justify with no meaningful justification. On the stands, not even on the bench for more than a season for Fenerbache and they claim they brought him in to play the “big brother “, role. One will then wonder what Alioum Boukar was hired for. Whatever they say or do, it is clear that he is one of those players they invited for other reasons and not for football considerations.
Cotonsport of Garoua’s goalkeeper Omossola Mejo Simon is also in, it will not come as a surprise if he is the one axed at the end to make way for “big brother” but he definitely has more to offer though this season he has suffered stiff competition from Bassam Djeri who has pushed him all the way.
How Kameni is picked ahead of Lukong Bongaman and Patrick Tygnemb remains a mystery.
Fai Collins Ngoran has been a regular for Standard Liege all season and deserves his place especially as he has always played well for Cameroon. With 28 league matches, one goal and three assists he has his place in the team.
22 year old Mbalmayo boy Jérôme Onguéné fought his way into the good books of his coach Marco Rose and became a regular with Red Bull Salzburg who did a League and cup double in Austria. He too gets a nod for a place in the team.
Micheal Ngadeu Ngadjui is having a great season with Slavia Prague playing along side Ivorian defender Simon Deli. He pops up with the odd goal to complement his defensive duties. With 26 league games in the Czech top flight for current league leaders and 11 games in the UEFA Europa League, for Slavia of Prague, he has had a good season. He was part of the winning team in 2017 so he has a lot to offer.
Yaya Banana has been almost ever present in defense for Panionios all season. The 27 years old native of Maroua has played 20 league games this season in the Greek top flight with steady and reliable performances that have helped his team to a good mid-table sixth position this far.
With 27 league games in the Turkish top flight under his belt, 1,83m tall 28 years old Jean Armel Kana Biyik will be another good asset, though he has rarely reproduced his club performances with the national team. His team Kayserispor are currently 13th on the log out of 18 teams in the Turkish Super Lig.
Left back Thomas Gaetan Bong will not be a bad back up, like he has done in most part of the season with his English Premier League club Brighton and Hove Albion. He however featured in 22 Premier League games and in his own way helped his team secure survival in the Premiership for another season.
Ambroise Oyongo Bitolo has been a key performer for Michel Der Zakarian’s Montpellier who occupy the sixth spot in the French Ligue 1 after 36 playing days. The 27 years old left back/ winger who was born in Ndikiniméki has played 24 league games this season with two goals to his account despite some injury worries.
One those players convocated causing a lot of ink and siliver to flow is 23 years old Mariupol defender Joyskim Aurelien Dawa Tchakonte. Not only is he playing with one of the smaller clubs in Ukraine, he has been on the bench almost all season with just six appearances in a league that is in its conclusive playoff stages. He must have something the ordinary eyes or ordinary coach can’t see like his coach Oleksandr Babych who has played him in just six of the twenty-seven league games they have played all season. The only other possible justification Seedorf and his team might give could be that there are no other Cameroonian defenders at home and abroad or they did not have the will and time to check because they already had their man from the ‘shadow hands.’
Jeando Pourrat Fuchs is another one for the future. He has not shown enough but has shown climbses of his abilities though he has been used sparingly at his club FC Sochaux and he has had some injury worries too. At the time of this call up he is injured though the technical team of the Indomitable Lions thinks it’s an injury that can be ignored. This 21 years old has what it takes to join the team in the future but for now Seedorf knows best.
Frank Andre Zambo Anguissa is finishing his already disappointing season with Fulham on a high, despite the fact that they were relegated from the Premier League. Under new Manager Scott Parker he has found favour and played to his best again. He is one of Cameroon’s main assets.
Pierre Kunde Malong has never been away from Mainz 04’s team, playing some games completely, used in some as a substitute or in others on the bench as an unused sub. He is always in the plans of his coach Sandro Schwarz who has used him in the league on 27 occasions this season.
He might be in Israel but George Constant Mandjeck is an experienced campaigner. The 30 years old native of Douala has played in 28 league games this season, scoring 4 goals earning 11 yellow cards and a red card in that run. They are currently second on the table in the league though it’s impossible for them to catch league leaders Maccabi Tel Aviv who have opened up a 28 points gap.
22 years old Wilfrid Jaures Kaptoum is another one for the future. The young midfielder has featured in eight La Liga games, three in the Europa League and two in Spanish Copa Del Rey for Real Betis this season.He has however shown that he has what it takes to make it to the top under coach Quique Setien who has more established midfielders like William Cavalho, Sergio Canales and Giovani LeCelsor at his disposal.
Boumal Mayega Petrus has been one of the very first names on coach Dmytro Parfenov’s team sheet all season for FC Ural Yekaterinburg in the Russian top flight. Currently 11th on the log after 28 playing days in a 16 teams championship, the 26 years old midfielder has played in 21 league games with some hard tackling which has seen him get the matching order a couple of times.
Ending Sport of Lekie’s 18 years old midfielder Pierre Ramses Akono is pushed into the team by all means for reasons best known to those behind this. In his last call up he was seriously injured and had been sidelined for a long time only for the coaches to use their crystal balls and call him up into the national team. This time again they have called him up based on maybe the same reasons like the last time. He is another good prospect whose talent has to be nurtured with care and not to be pushed to run faster than his shadow.
Picking Ramses Akono ahead of Franck Kom in a season where Ramses didn’t feature up to 10 times for Eding Sport FC and Kom have made 29 appearances for Esperance defies logic.
The convocation of 26 years old forward Paul-Georges Ntep de Madiba from Wolfsburg where he has not played a single competitive game is simply a joke. This is the height of incompetence, even the ‘shadow hands’ should realize how ridiculous this is, it is even more disgraceful for a coach of the standing of Seedorf to accept such manipulations. This leaves one to wonder if he has what it takes to do this job.
Another one to spend more time on the bench or in the stands is winger Fabrice Olinga Essono. He spent more time watching his teammates than contributing on the pitch. With 20 appearances mostly as a late substitute with no goal and two assists for Royal Excel Mouscron in the Belgian Jupiler League only certain coaches can call up such players.
Stephane Bahoken has had his most prolific season in the French top flight for Angers after joining them last season from Strasbourg. He has scored 11 league goals in 31 games with one assist. He is definitely one Cameroon should be counting on in Egypt.
It still remains a mystery to many how 28 years old Astra Guirgui in Romania’s top flight striker Jacques Zoua keeps getting a call into Cameroon’s national team. With over 23games and no goal yet for his country and 19 games with one goal for his Romanian club only Seedorf and his predecessors can see the genius in the striker.
Njie Clinton was tipped as the next big name in Cameroon football after his wonderful start with Lyon and the national team of Cameroon. Unfortunately he lost his way for avoidable reasons. The talent is abundant but that alone is not enough to make a player fulfill his potential, there is no better example than Hatem Ben Arfa who plays for Rennes now. With two goals in 15 matches this season, he is far from his best, but if he keeps his ‘demons’ behind him then Cameroon has a forward who can deliver.
Christian Mougang Bassogog was 2017 Afcon’s best player, the Henan Jianye forward looks more of a shadow of that player who took Africa by storm in Gabon. However, the genuis still lives in him and is brought out ones in a while in the Chinese Super League where he has scored a goal and provided an assist in the opening seven league matches.
30 years old forward Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting won the French league title under a context where all his errors where brought under serious scrutiny notably by pundits Habib Beye and Pierre Menes. He has however showed nerves of steel. His three league goals in 20 league appearances might not be enough but he can provide more for Cameroon in Egypt given his technical abilities.
Diederrick Tagueu Joel Tadjo has scored six goals in 28 league games and provided one assist for Maritimo Funchal in the Portuguese Primeira Liga. The 25 years old forward is a player who is yet confirm all the good things that are said about him.
27 years old Vincent Paté Aboubakar began this season on fire only to be cut short by a villain injury a few weeks into the season. Before his injury he had already bagged four goals and provided an assist in his first six league games. He is back ready to play and his nation needs him to reproduce that magic of Gabon 2017. Can his body permit him? Let’s wait and see.
Edgar Narcise Constant Salli is one of those players that one cannot help to wonder how they got themselves into this team.
The 26 years old native of Garoua has played just three Bundesliga Liga games all season with no goal and no assist for Nuremberg under coach Boris Schoomers who does not count on the player at all despite the struggles of his team.
26 years old Jean Pierre Nsame whose Swiss based team Young Boys of Bernes won the league title has contributed with 13 goals and 2 assists in 27 games he has featured in. He deserves a place in the team with such statistics.
Karl Brilliant Toko Ekambi is the pick of the bunch from the strikers at the disposal of Clarence Seedorf. With 9 league goals and an assist in 33 games, his work rate, penetration, trickery and pace are what might make the difference for Cameroon in Egypt if he stays fit.
With one goal in nine games and two assists for his Greek Superleague side Panionios, 28 years old forward Olivier Boumal has all to prove in Egypt if he makes the final list.
24 years old winger Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu has scored eight goals and provided an assist for Swiss champions Young Boys of Bernes this season. His call up into the national team should not raise much debate though he still has to prove to the coach that he deserves a place.
After looking at the performances and profiles of the players called up by Clarence Seedorf to prepare for a successful defense of the trophy Cameroon won in Gabon two years ago, it is difficult to understand how players like midfielders Franck Boya (Royal Excel Mouscron), Gaël Ondoa (Anzhi Makhachkala), Franck Kom ( Esperance of Tunis), Yan Brice Eteki (Almeria), winger Didier Lamkel Ze (Antwerp) defenders Jean-Charles Castelletto (Brest), Denis Ngweni(Cotonsport), Bertin Nguemaleu (UMS of Loum), Cedric Landry Djomo (UMS), Etta Bawak (Cotonsport) forwards Ignatius Kpene Ganago (Nice), Franck Ohandza (Henan Jianye), Leandre Tawamba Kana( Al Taawoun) and many others were overlooked for some of these players who spend more time watching and others whose time is still to come.
It is also difficult to understand why more efforts have not been made to get Joel Matip and Nicolas Nkoulou back into the team as well as get the likes of Tameze, Eboa Eboa, Evans Ndicka, Bryan Mbeumo and Jules Olivier Ntcham.
However the coach has the final say and takes full responsibility for his decisions and choices, besides not all players can be invited into the national team with just 23 places available for the tournament.
We can only wish him and the team all the best.