News Live Scores
African All Stars

Moukoko, Aboubakar: What happened to the ‘New Eto’os’?

7:12 AM EST 3/9/22
Samuel Eto'o & Vincent Aboubakar of Cameroon
With the Cameroon legend turning 41 on Thursday, GOAL examine what became of his would-be 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 in 2019 ahead of Clarence Seedorf’s final selection.

    Now 25, he's currently with Portuguese club Rio Ave.

  • 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 26-year-old, who has represented Cameroon at youth level, is currently with Zamora FC, 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 signed for Dinamo Moscow in 2019 after rebuilding his career back in France with Olympique de Marseille, and infamously missed his penalty kick as Cameroon were eliminated by Egypt at the Nations Cup earlier this year.

  • 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.

    Top scorer at the recent Afcon on home soil, Aboubakar netted eight goals - only one short of the all-time record for goals scored in a single tournament - as the Indomitable Lions finished third.

  • Tresor Mputu of DR Congo during the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Finals match between Egypt and Dr Congo

    Tresor Mputu

    Once tipped as 'The New Eto'o' by then-Democratic Republic of Congo head coach Claude Le Roy, few can deny that Mputu has been one of the most individually talented players to have graced the African arena over the last few decades.

    He never made the step to European football - despite being linked to the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Blackburn Rovers - with disciplinary issues surely contributing to his extended stay in Africa.

    A legend with Tout Puissant Mazembe, he's spent the best part of 18 years with the Congolese giants.

  • Youssoufa Moukoko Borussia Dortmund 2018-19

    Youssoufa Moukoko

    The latest player to be dubbed the ‘new Eto’o’ is 17-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 with BVB, and is fast cementing himself as one of the finest prospects around.

    Things have slowed since he became the Bundesliga's youngest player, and he's now reportedly seeking a move away from Dortmund.

    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?