By Basil Afoni
Cameroonian soccer players in Europe are still struggling to regain their verve after an overwhelming 2015/2016 soccer season.
None of the players won the League title with their respective clubs. To some, it was a fairly good season as they managed to keep their clubs in the top elite competitions, while to others, it was campaign to forget as the performances have left them wandering in limbo as they search for new soccer destinations before the commencement of the 2016/2017 football season.
In this write up, The Post x-rays the performances of Cameroonian players abroad, and what has become of them.
French Ligue I
In France, it was a sad year for Jacques Zoua and goalkeeper Jules Goda all plying their trades with Gazelec Ajaccio, as the team was relegated to Ligue 2. In the course of the year, Goalkeeper Jules Goda fell down the pecking order and lost his position in the starting XI to Clément Maury, who was preferred by the Coach. The Cameroonian Goalkeeper was given another opportunity, but failed to reclaim his position.
Goda’s compatriot, Zoua also witnessed an epileptic goal scoring form throughout the season. The former FC Basel and Hamburg- owned striker managed just five goals in 31 games.
On his part, Marseille’s Nicolas Nkoulou, failed to lift the French Cup, as they were whacked by Paris Saint Germaine in the final. Nkoulou played 33 games and was named as the third most used player in Ligue I.
Karl Toko Ekambi and Adolphe Teikeu fought hard with League II side, FC Sochaux to escape relegation. Ekambi finished the season as top scorer for his team with 11 goals in 34 games. His compatriot and team Captain, Adolphe Teikeu played 27 games, scoring just once.
It was a fairly good season for Olympique Lyonnais’, Henri Bedimo, who helped his team qualify for the UEFA Champions League. It was the last season for the Cameroonian who is now scouted by some English Premier League giants.
Georges Mandjeck and Christian Bekamenga, who both play for FC Metz enjoyed a good season. Thanks to the efforts of the Cameroonian duo, FC Metz was able to gain promotion into the Ligue 1.
Benjamin Moukandjo was the standout Cameroonian Player in terms of performance in the 2015/ 2016 soccer season. The FC Lorient striker gave Swedish Zlatan Ibrahimovic a good run for the Ligue I golden boot.
Moukandjo’s efforts were later foiled by a late injury he picked up that sidelined him for many months.
Barclays Premier League
Just like in the French Liue I, Cameroonian players in the English Premier League also witnessed a torrid season.
Watford right-back, Allan Nyom enjoyed a debut season in the Premier League; as his rugged performance helped Watford maintain its Premier League status.
Unlike Nyom, Alexandre Song experienced one of the worst seasons in his soccer career with West Ham United. Song played just 12 games throughout the season and is one of the players who have been left in Limbo as he heads back to his parent club Barcelona where his fate is uncertain.
On the other, Tottenham Hotspurs’ Clinton Njie struggled with injuries in his debut season in the Premier League. The former Lyon Striker was sidelined for six months and will be hoping to be given another opportunity to revive his career.
In the Spanish La Liga, Idriss Carlos Kameni was able to keep prolific attackers like Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann and Neymar Junior abbey. Out of 32 games, Kameni conceded only 26 goals, making him the best Cameroonian Goalkeeper in Europe in 2016.
Fabrice Ondoa on his part has been unable to stamp his authority on a starting spot since moving from Barcelona team B to Gimnastic de Tarragona in Division II, before being loaned out to Pobla Mafumet, a Division III side.
After so many years in Germany, Joel Matip finally ended his engagement with Schalke 04 and penned a new contract with Liverpool in the Premier League. Before his transfer to England, the Defender made 34 appearances for the Bundesliga Club, scoring three goals.
Like Joel Matip, Marvin Matip played 33 games, scoring two goals. He equally captained his team, Ingolstadt as they battled together to escape relegation.
On his part, Maxim Choupo-Moting plagued by injuries, only scored six goals in 28 games with Schalke 04. His club will compete in the Europa League next year.
Primeira Liga (Portugal)
Vincent Aboubakar enjoyed a prolific season with FC Porto and emerged top scorer for the team with 13 goals. It was an improvement of last season at the club where he scored only four times in the league.
Belgium – Beloften Pro League
Lewis Mbah Enoh’s three goals helped his club, KSC Lokeren to finish the season on the 11th spot. On their part, Collins Fai and Eyong Enoh helped Standard Liège to win the Belgian Cup. But the team ended the League on the 7th position thereby missing out of European elite competitions.