Futaa's Indispensables series looks at seven key men who their countries simply cannot do without if they are to taste glory in Egypt this year. Introducing 23-year-old Cameroon goalkeeper André Onana.
Like his club teammate Hakim Ziyech, Onana really came to the fore and caught the attention of global audiences and managers in 2018/2019 as Ajax Amsterdam won a domestic double and went deep into the Champions League, falling at the semifinal stage.
Onana in a nutshell 🥜
Onana was born in Ngol Ngok and came through the Samuel Eto'o academy from the age of 13. When he was still a teenager, he moved across to Spain to further his education at the fabled Barcelona youth academy. His youth development then received its finishing polished touches when, still a teenager, he moved to Ajax Amsterdam. He made his first-team debut within a year of arriving in the Netherlands.
Onana kept 16 clean sheets in 33 appearances in the 2018/2019 Eredivisie season, underlining his growing stature on the European stage. Bids for his services from around Europe are expected, and a few more top class performances at AFCON should see his asking price shoot up.
Two areas where Onana might want to improve is his somewhat uncertain catching of crosses and long distribution. However, Onana is now widely-regarded for his excellent shot-stopping abilities and cat-like reflexes. If Cameroon's knockout AFCON clashes go all the way to penalties, they're in safe hands.
His AFCON so far 🌍
Cameroon and Onana have kept three clean sheets in as many matches at AFCON so far. That's a promising sign for a side desperate to retain their African crown.
Onana's calmness and confidence will transmit to the rest of the team and it makes them strong contenders to reach the latter stages.
Supporting cast 🇨🇲 🦁
André-Frank Zambo Anguissa had a season to forget for Fulham in the Premier League, but the same can be said for most of their players. The London club spent £30m on the box-to-box midfielder and at 23, he certainly has a lot of improving to do still.
Cameroon's most high-profile player outside of Onana is undoubtedly their skipper Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting. The PSG man has had limited opportunities at club level with household names Neymar and Kylian Mbappé ahead of him in the pecking order, but he's the key attacker for Cameroon and is capable of producing the unexpected.
Next match 🗓
Cameroon takes on Nigeria in the round of 16 in Saturday's early kickoff and you can follow it live on Futaa. Kickoff is at 19:00 EAT.