Top players to watch in 2015 AFCON: Vincent Aboubakar (Cameroon)

 Vincent Aboubakar
Cameroon's Vincent Aboubakar reacts during their friendly soccer match against Paraguay in the Austrian city of Kufstein May 29, 2014
Ahram Online
Friday 9 Jan 2015

With Cameroon's all-time leading scorer Samuel Eto'o missing out after retiring from international football last year, the central African nation fans' hopes of winning a fifth Nations Cup title will be pinned on Porto striker Vincent Aboubakar this time around.

The 22-year-old marksman, who has to his name six international goals so far, will be keen to bag his first goal in a major tournament after featuring in the 2014 World Cup finals in Brazil without scoring a single goal.

Following a spectacular 2013-14 season with minnows Ligue 1 side Lorient, whom he helped to eighth place in the league, Aboubakar sealed a four-year deal switch to Portuguese giants Porto last summer.

Despite not regularly featuring for the Portuguese league runners up this season, Aboubakar has netted three goals so far – including a stunning late Champions League equalizer against Shakhtar Donetsk to help his side finish on top of their group unbeaten.

But for the Indomitable Lions, Aboubakar has been even more impressive, having grabbed four goals in their AFCON qualifying campaign as they finished on top of Group D – four points clear of runners-up Ivory Coast.

Regarding his individual skills, the ex-Coton Sport hitman has the pace and necessary attributes to make runs in behind the opposition's defence, in addition to a goal-scoring prowess that saw him bag 16 goals for Lorient in a single season.   

“Aboubakar has really improved his finishing skills and has developed real composure over the year,” Cameroonian coach Henri Manga was quoted as saying by the Guardian last year.

“His speed and predatory skills make him very important to (Cameroon manager) Volker Finke’s team, as does his ability on the ball.

"He is very dangerous. He is one of our best weapons and I am sure our opponents are aware of that.”

Cameroon will be facing a tough Cup of Nations Group D though, having been drawn alongside Ivory Coast, Mali and Guinea.

Aboubakar's first test will be against Mali on January 20, before facing outsiders Guinea four days later in the biennial tournament that is staged in Equatorial Guinea.  

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