AFCON 2023: Man Utd’s Onana asks to join Cameroon camp late

Ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations in Ivory Coast next month, Cameroon's André Onana has asked his country's FA to allow him arrive camp late according to reports.
The Manchester United goalkeeper who arrived in the Premier League from Inter Milan this season was named in the Indomitable Lions squad for the tournament which starts on the 13th of January. He has, however, informed the FA that he wants to remain at his club as much as possible before teaming up with the national team for the showpiece.

The Indomitable Lions play Zambia in a warmup game on January 9 in Saudi Arabia, where they camp ahead of the showpiece. But Onana would likely miss that warmup game because he's hoping that he can feature for Manchester United in a third-round FA Cup tie against Wigan Athletic a day earlier.

The return of Onana

Onana only returned to international duty in September. He shockingly declared his retirement during the World Cup in Qatar last year, after a row with coach Rigobert Song having only played in the opening group stage match.

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Andre Onana will hope to start in goal when Cameroon commence its AFCON campaign against Guinea on January 15.

AFCON tests Man United's depth

Onana's departure means he could miss United's Premier League games against Tottenham, Wolves, West Ham United and Aston Villa between January 14th and February 11th, with an FA Cup fourth-round tie on January 27th and 28th.

Erik Ten Hag will have to shuffle the goalkeeping position between 25-year-old Altay Bayindir and 37-year-old Tom Heaton, with the former still to feature for United since he joined.

Song's final squad list to the AFCON did spark some reactions as Bayern Munich striker Eric-Maxim Choupo Moting was dropped having missed out on the last international windows this year. They will also be without Brentford striker Bryan Mbeumo, who underwent surgery on his right ankle. Song included 17-year-old Wilfried Nathan Doualla, who plays in the domestic league. However, it will be the fifth finals appearance for captain Vincent Aboubakar.

After their opening match in Group C against Guinea, Cameroon will face holders Senegal and then the Gambia.

Full Squad:

Goalkeepers: Devis Epassy (Abha Club), Simon Ngapandouetnbu (Olympique de Marseille), Andre Onana (Manchester United), Fabrice Ondoa (Nimes)

Defenders: Malcom Bokele (Girondins Bordeaux), Jean-Charles Castelletto (Nantes), Oumar Gonzalez (Al Raed), Harold Moukoudi (AEK Athens), Tolo Nouhou (Seattle Sounders), Junior Tchamadeu (Stoke City), Enzo Tchato (Montpellier), Christopher Wooh (Stade Rennais), Darling Yongwa (Lorient)

Midfielders: Wilfried Nathan Doualla (Victoria United), Ben Elliott (Reading), Olivier Kemen (Kayserispor), Yvan Neyou (Leganes), Olivier Ntcham (Samsunspor), Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Napoli)

Forwards: Vincent Aboubakar (Besiktas), Leonel Ateba (Dynamo Douala), Frank Magri (Toulouse), Faris Pemi Moumbagna (Bodo/Glimt), Francois-Regis Mughe (Olympique de Marseille), Clinton Njie (Sivasspor), Georges-Kevin Nkoudou (Damac), Karl Toko Ekambi (Abha Club). (Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town)

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Rotimi Akindele

Rotimi Akindele is a Sports Journalist with almost two decades' experience. He is a TV and radio host, commentator and writer who has covered major sporting events across the globe. Akindele's sports content has been listened to and read by a global audience. He is a well-known figure within Nigeria and the African football scene.