By Victor Kanayo
Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana has been included in the Cameroon squad for next month’s Africa Cup of Nations finals in Cote d’ivoire.
Onana, 27, had walked out on Cameroon after a row with Rigobert Song at last year’s World Cup in Qatar.
The 27-year-old later made a U-turn, representing Cameroon in September amid his ongoing struggles at United.
Boss Erik ten Hag – who managed him at Ajax – has kept faith, not even giving backup Altay Bayindir a single minute of football so far this term.
Cameroon will be without Brentford striker Bryan Mbeumo, who underwent surgery on his right ankle earlier this month.
Also, Choupo Moting, who first debuted for the Indomitable Lions at the 2010 World Cup, paid a price for having missed Cameroon’s last three outings.
Song surprised with the selection of 17-year-old Wilfried Nathan Doualla, who plays in the Cameroon league and has never been previously called-up.
It will be a fifth Cup of Nations finals appearance for captain Vincent Aboubakar.
The five-time champions, who last won it in 2017 are drawn in Group C alongside Senegal, Gambia and Guinea.
Cameroon play Guinea on January 15th in their opening Group C game before also meeting holders Senegal and Gambia.
United Replacement Options
With Onana heading to AFCON, Turkey international Altay Bayindir who is yet to play any game for United, is set to make his bow next month, starting with the Red Devils’ home game against Tottenham on Sunday, January 14th.
The goalkeeper was signed from Turkish giants Fenerbahce for £4.3m in September.
While it’s understood that United trust Bayindir to cover in Onana’s absence, a new goalkeeper could be signed in January on a short-term basis. The Red Devils have been reluctant to use veteran Tom Heaton as a No.2 since he returned to the club in 2021.