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Moukoko, Dongou: Where are the ‘New Eto’os’ now?

19:29 EAT 08/09/2019
Samuel Eto'o Barcelona 2009
As the Cameroon legend calls time on his career, Goal ask what happened to his successors

  • Fabrice Olinga Mario Villarreal Malaga La Liga 11292013

    Fabrice Olinga

    Perhaps the player most closely identified as the ‘New Eto’o’, Olinga graduated from the Samuel Eto’o Foundation to Spanish football, with RCD Mallorca—following in his hero’s footsteps—and then Malaga.

    With the latter, he became La Liga’s youngest ever goalscorer—at 16 years and 98 days—but that was as good as it got, as Olinga subsequently moved around outposts in Belgium, Cyprus and Romania, never quite recapturing that early magic.

    He represented Cameroon at the 2014 World Cup, but was cut from the Africa Cup of Nations preliminary squad earlier this year ahead of Clarence Seedorf’s final selection.

    He’s currently with Mouscron in Belgium’s Jupiler Pro League.

  • Barcelona's Jean Marie Dongou

    Jean-Marie Dongou

    Often associated with Olinga during his youth career, Dongou moved to Barcelona from the Same Eto’o Foundation in 2008 and after a successful spell in La Masia, made his Barcelona debut—as a substitute for Alexis Sanchez—in December 2013.

    It would be the only league appearance he’d make for the senior side, before steadily slumping down the Spanish league pyramid with Real Zaragoza, Gimnastic and Lugo.

    The 24-year-old, who has represented Cameroon at youth level, is currently without a club, and appears no closer to fulfilling his early promise.

  • Clinton N'Jie Cameroon 2019

    Clinton N’Jie

    Back in 2014, when he was beginning to make a name for himself with Olympique Lyonnais, N’Jie was reportedly courting interest from Arsenal, with OL president Jean-Michel Aulas proclaiming the attacker would become the ‘future Eto’o’.

    Things didn’t quite work out that way; N’Jie did ultimately move to London, but to Tottenham Hotspur not the Gunners, and wholly failed to make his mark in the capital.

    He recently signed for Dinamo Moscow after rebuilding his career back in France with Olympique de Marseille.

    N’Jie, now 26, is the only player on this list to have made Cameroon’s squad for the recent Africa Cup of Nations.

  • Robin Ngalande

    Robin Ngalande

    The only non-Cameroonian on this list, Malawi frontman Ngalande was likened to Eto’o when, as a teenager, he signed for Atletico Madrid after emerging at Mamelodi Sundowns.

    The comparisons proved to be somewhat optimistic, and Ngalande recently moved to Azerbaijani club Zira FK after spells with various PSL sides including Bidvest Wits, Ajax Cape Town and Baroka.

  • Vincent Aboubakar Porto

    Vincent Aboubakar

    When he was included in Cameroon’s 2010 World Cup squad as the only home-based player in the selection, the 18-year-old Coton Sport frontman had to constantly contend with comparisons to Eto’o. One youth coach even described him as a ‘genius’.

    The attacker has gone on to enjoy a fine career, even if he hasn’t come close to Eto’o’s heights.

    He scored for Cameroon in their 2017 Africa Cup of Nations final victory over Egypt, and has enjoyed goal-laden spells with FC Lorient, Besiktas and FC Porto.

  • Youssoufa Moukoko Borussia Dortmund 2018-19

    Youssoufa Moukoko

    The latest player to be dubbed the ‘new Eto’o’ is 14-year-old Borussia Dortmund goal machine Moukoko.

    Born in Yaounde, the starlet made headlines for scoring six goals in a match for BVB’s U-19 team, and already appears destined for the top.

    He scored 46 in 25 for the U-17 team last term, and is fast cementing himself as one of the finest prospects around. Can he begin to emulate Eto’o or, like a few others on this list, will he fail to make the most of his remarkable talent?