For his first two qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup, Cameroon coach Rigobert Song has dropped a number of key players in favor of young new talents.
Cameroon national soccer team coach Rigobert Song has decided to implement a bold managerial policy ahead of the 2026 World Cup qualifiers. This new approach focuses on reviving competition within the team and promoting promising young talent. The next matches against Mauritius and Libya, scheduled in Douala and Benghazi respectively on November 17 and 21, will be the testing ground for this strategy.
A renewed defense
Since the injury to Fai Collins, the Cameroon team's right-back position has been a problem. Hopes placed in Enzo Tchato quickly faded, while Olivier Mbaizo never quite convinced. With this in mind, Rigobert Song decided to leave these two players aside and give a new one a chance. Junior Tchamadeu, 19, currently with Stoke City in England, is the new hope in this position. With a growing reputation in England, Tchamadeu (10 games in all competitions this season) will bring freshness and versatility to the defense.
Nouhou Tolo's position at left-back could soon be under threat. Léon Bell Bell, who joins from Magdeburg in Germany's second division, has received his first call-up. With his impressive qualities in this role, Bell Bell will add a new dimension to Cameroon's defense with his liveliness.
An evolving midfield
In midfield, Martin Hongla remains absent, and Pierre Kunde Malong has been left out for this double-header. In their place, the return of Yvan Neyou is noteworthy. Neyou, who plays in Liga 2 with Leganes, is enjoying a breakthrough season. He played 14 league games, winning 11. The former Stephanois offers a solid alternative for the Cameroonian midfielder. Kunde Malong may well regret his lack of effectiveness.
Choupo-Moting has plenty to worry about
In attack, Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting, currently with Bayern Munich, has seen his playing time dwindle. Song has opted to give his chance to Faris Moumbagna, the Bodo/Glimt striker who is currently Europe's leading Cameroonian scorer. With 15 league goals and 3 in the Norwegian Cup, Moumbagna has proved his ability to score consistently. He has scored 4 goals in 9 games in the Europa League.
Another key player, Nicolas Moumi Ngamaleu, has also lost his place to Georges-Kevin Nkoudou.
The former Besiktas player is on the move to Damac FC in Saudi Arabia. This gives him the opportunity to regain his place in the national team, which he hasn't featured in since the 2022 World Cup.
With this new managerial policy, Rigobert Song clearly intends to revive competition within the Cameroon national team, while giving promising young talent a chance. The upcoming qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup promise to be a major test of this innovative approach. Indomitable Lions fans are certainly looking forward to seeing these new faces in action on the pitch.
Rigobert Song's list
Goalkeepers :Devis Epassy, Fabrice Ondoa, André Onana
Defenders: Darlin Yongwa, Christopher Wooh, Nouhou Tolo, Léon Bell Bell, Oumar Gonzales, Junior Tchamadeu, Harold Moukoudi, Jean-Charles Castelletto, Jérôme Ngom
Midfielders: Zambo Anguissa, Ben Elliott, Olivier Ntcham, Olivier Kemen, Yvan Neyou
Forwards: Karl Toko Ekambi, Faris Moumbagna, Bryan Mbeumo, Clinton Njie, Vincent Aboubakar, Frank Magri, Georges-Kevin Nkoudou