The rumors are true, Anatole Abang has left the building, at least for now.
The 20 year-old striker will spend the entirety of the 2016-17 on loan to Hobro IK in Denmark, the Danish club confirmed this morning. Hobro currently sits in fifth place in the Danish First Division, Denmark's second division, after being relegated from the Danish Superliga, the first division, last season. This summer saw the attacking duo Jung-Bin Park and Mayron George leave the club for new opportunities at Viborg and Randers respectively. Abang is said to be the club's short-term solution to the club loss of these players.
Hobro Sporting Director Jens Hammer Sørensen told the club's website, "We came in dialogue with New York Red Bulls via Anatole Abang's agent and his Danish scout and partner. It's not every day you get the opportunity to download a Cameroonian A-national team player, so we are pleased that we have now made a deal that certainly comes mutual benefit".
The 'mutual benefit' mentioned there is solution to Abang's lack of playing time this year with the Red Bulls. Abang has struggled to find time on the field this year despite a stellar freshman season, in which he scored four regular season goals and almost dragged New York to the MLS Cup as his introduction against Columbus began to turn the tides in New York's favor. This year the young Cameroonian has been behind iron-man Bradley Wright-Phillips and speedy Argentine Gonzalo Véron on the first team, while the consistent play of Brandon Allen and Junior Flemmings has made his opportunities sporadic on the club's USL side as well.
Abang has only played in eight games for the MLS side this year, mostly as a substitute while being held off the scoresheet entirely. For New York's USL side Abang has scored four goals but has been inconsistent in his play, likely down to the fact he has only played eight games for the team. Meanwhile, Abang has continued to feature for his home nation's national team, last providing an assist against France in Cameroon's 3-2 loss to Les Blues in May.
Hobro's Sørensen went on to praise Abang, saying, "Anatole Abang is a very fast and explosive player who we can certainly benefit from. He is very challenging in his game, but he can also use his physique to keep the ball. Anatole is a young player who still has something to learn. So he cometh also Hobro to develop his game"
(translations via Google Translate)
This announcement comes on top of the news this morning that Abang was called into the Cameroonian National Team once again as the team faces Gambia and Gabon in September.
It is likely that New York Red Bulls fans have seen the last of young striker. Reports prior this loan hinted at Abang's frustrations over a lack of playing time, and this loan will work put the Abang in shop window, should the team look to sell him next summer or simply let his contract expire.
All the best Anatole. Show the Denmark what you've got.