Ben Elliot, Danny Loader, Carlos Baleba are some of the new faces named by Rigobert Song in Cameroon national team squad for AFCON 2023 qualifiers.
Rigobert Song made known his 34-man provisional squad for Cameroon’s double header against Namibia in the AFCON 2023 qualifiers.
The list had some notable absentees like Jean Pierre Nsame, Enzo Ebosse, Gael Ondoa, Christian Bassogog and of course Andre Onana who announced his retirement from the national team earlier this year.
The list also had some new faces like Ben Elliot, Danny Loader, Carlos Baleba, Flavien Enzo Boyomo, Malcom Bokele all getting their first Cameroon national team call ups.
Club: Chelsea U21
Ben Elliot as he is popularly called is an exciting attacking midfield player who is good scoring and creating chances.
He signed at the age of eight after training at our development centres.
The youngster has featured for England Under-16s. He signed his first professional deal with Chelsea in November 2019 shortly after making his first Under-18. He made five outings in total during his first term in full-time football.
Elliott started the 2020/21 season with the Under-18s and made a total of 20 appearances at that level scoring four goals. He also made his debut at the older level of Academy football and ended the term with two games.
He current has four goals and an assist for Chelsea U21 this season in the Premier league U21.
Known for his stamina, dribbling and passing range, Baleba is a complete and powerful central midfielder. He can play in a box-to-box role or as a holding midfielder.
Baleba started playing football at Futur Soccer FC in Douala and then joined École de Football des Brasseries du Cameroun academy center at the age of 13.
He made a move to Lille in January 2022, since he had already attracted the scouts of several other European clubs. Having arrived in the Nord, he first joined Lille’s reserve team, that played in National 3 that season.
He made a few appearences on the bench without making his professional debut during the late stages of the 2021–22 Ligue 1 season. Baleba really became part of the first team during the following pre-season, impressing newly appointed manager Paulo Fonseca.
He made his professional debut for Lille on the 7 August 2022 during a 4–1 Ligue 1 win against Auxerre.
He has 7 appearances for Lille this season.
Flavien Enzo Boyomo
Position: Central Defender
Born in Toulouse, France Boyomo joined Blackburn Rovers’ Academy in 2016, from Toulouse FC. He progressed through the club’s youth setup, but left in 2020 after failing to agree new terms with the club.
After leaving Blackburn, Boyomo moved to Spain and joined Albacete Balompié. He was initially assigned to the reserve team in Tercera División. He made his first team debut on 26 September 2020, starting in a 0–1 away loss against CF Fuenlabrada in the Segunda División championship.
Boyomo scored his first professional goal on 25 October 2020, netting the opener in a 2–1 home defeat of Rayo Vallecano.On 23 December, he renewed his contract until 2024.
With 27 appearances to his name this season in the Spanish Segunda Division, Boyomo is an undisputed started in the Albacette team.
Position: Center Back
Malcom got his first national team call up for Cameroon at the U23 level on October 21st, 2021.
Born in France to a Congolese father and Cameroonian mother.
Bokele was eligible to play for Cameroon, Congo and France national teams.
Bokele is a youth product of the academies of AS Bellecour Perrache, Eveil Lyon, Lyon and FC Lyon. He began his senior career with the reserves of FBBP01 in 2017. He followed that up with a stint with the reserves of FC Metz from 2017 to 2019. In October 2019, he moved to the reserves of Bordeaux. In June 2021, he signed his first professional contract with Bordeaux for 3 years. He joined Villefranche on 29 January 2022 for the second half of the 2021-22 season in the Championnat National. Moving to the Bordeaux senior team for the 2022-23 season, he made his professional debut with them in a 0–0 Ligue 2 tie with Valenciennes on 22 August 2022.
Bokele has 18 appearances for Bordeaux this season in Ligue 2, scoring 2 goals.
Position: Center forward
Loader is eligible to represent England and Cameroon. He has represented England at under-16, under-17, under-18, under-19 level and under-20 scoring many goals.
Loader was born in Reading, Berkshire, and started his career in the youth team of Wycombe Wanderers before joining the under-13 side at his hometown club Reading in 2012. He made his professional debut for the first team at the age of sixteen in August 2017, coming on as a substitute for Leandro Bacuna in extra time in the 3–1 victory over Millwall in the EFL Cup. In the process he became only the third Reading player to make his debut under the age of seventeen. At the end of the month he signed his first professional contract when he turned seventeen. Prolific for the youth team, he was given a chance in the first team under José Gomes and became the youngest Reading player to reach 20 appearances. On 27 April, he scored his first senior goal against Middlesbrough.
Loader was close to a move to Wolverhampton Wanderers before Wolves pulled out of the move due to Reading upping the price at the last moment. A few days later he scored the winning penalty in round 2 of the EFL Cup against Wycombe Wanderers.
His move to FC Porto
On 20 August 2020, FC Porto announced the signing of Loader for Porto B, on a two-year contract. He made 32 appearances for the reserve team in his first season, finishing with 8 goals, the highest tally on the team. Loader began the following season with Porto B and went on to score 15 goals. He was named in the senior squad for the first time for a league match against Boavista on 30 October. He came off the bench late in the match to replace centre-forward Evanilson, and he scored in added time, sealing a 4–1 win.
Loader started the 2022–23 season by winning the Supertaça Cândido de Oliveira after being handed a surprising first start for Porto in a game that they ran out 3-0 winners over Tondela.
Danny Loader has 4 assist and 4 goals for FC Porto in all competitions this season.