Brentford striker Bryan Mbeumo cannot wait to start his new adventure after switching his international allegiance from France to Cameroon.
Born in Avallon in central France, Mbeumo, who turns 23 on Sunday, has represented the country at both U20 and U21 level and is eligible to represent Cameroon, his father’s country of birth, since he is yet to make a senior appearance for Les Bleus.
"Can't wait to start this new adventure,” the player said via a post on social media.
Cameroon's football federation (Fecafoot) said Mbeumo's decision was the culmination of "extensive discussions" with its president and Indomitable Lions legend Samuel Eto'o.
Fecafoot need to, however, obtain international clearance from Fifa for Mbeumo, because he made 10 competitive appearances for France at youth level.
Mbeumo, who has a French mother, started his professional career at French side Troyes before joining Brentford, then in the Championship, in August 2019.
He contributed 16 goals in 45 league games in his first season, before adding another eight goals in the 2020-21 campaign to help the Bees win promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs.
He scored his first career hat-trick in Brentford's 4-1 win over Port Vale in the FA Cup third round in January, having come on as a second-half substitute.
Three weeks later, Mbeumo was rewarded with a new contract that will keep him at the west London club until 2026.
Mbeumo managed eight goals and seven assists in 38 matches for Thomas Frank’s side in 2021-22 as the Bees finished 13th in their maiden Premier League season.
The striker will boost Cameroon’s frontline that already has Al Nassr striker Vincent Aboubakar, Lyon’s Karl Toko Ekambi and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting of Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich ahead of the 2022 Fifa World Cup in Qatar.
Cameroon have largely relied on Aboubakar and Toko Ekambi for goals and the inclusion of Mbeumo will take some of the goalscoring burden off of the duo’s shoulders.
Aboubakar and Toko Ekambi were the leading scorers at the 2021 Africa Cup of Nations, which Cameroon hosted, having finished with eight and five goals, respectively.
Cameroon, who are coached by Indomitable Lions legend Rigobert Song, are in tough Group G at the World Cup where they will face five-time winners Brazil, Serbia and Switzerland.