Reigning Africa Cup of Nations champion Cameroon is getting ready for the 2017 Confederations Cup, which is why head coach Hugo Broos is giving press conferences and talking about players in his latest squad, and at least one not selected: New York Red Bulls forward Anatole Abang.
Per reports out of Cameroon, Broos touched on the current situation of the 20-year-old striker he brought into the senior national team back in 2016. Indeed, Broos kept faith with Abang some time after RBNY appeared to have washed its hands of him: the player was in Cameroon's pre-AFCON 2017 training camp, despite the fact he'd lost his place in the RBNY squad and been loaned out to a second division club in Denmark in the summer of 2016. But Abang didn't make the final cut for Cameroon's AFCON squad and hasn't been called up by his national team since - mostly because his club soccer situation has deteriorated alarmingly.
Broos gave his view to the press in Cameroon:
He found a club in Denmark, after a few weeks he was resigned. He was fortunate to find another club in Finland, and after three or four days he was again resigned. This is proof that there is a problem of lack of discipline, lack of seriousness.
In fairness to Abang, he was at Hobro in Denmark for months, not weeks - he joined the club in August 2016 and had his loan terminated at the end of January this year. And he was in Finland for weeks, not days: he joined at the end of March and was released in early May. But the point stands: something isn't right. Not least because Abang is still under contract with RBNY - as far as we know (he's still listed as "loaned out" on the official MLS roster page, though there isn't a club in the world currently admitting to having Abang on its active roster) - but the team seems to have lost touch with him.
Broos didn't mince his words on the subject of Abang's current troubles:
Abang must begin to stand in front of the mirror and ask: What will I do with my career?
The Cameroon head coach's last words on the matter were in the same vein: whatever the problems are, they are Abang's to address and resolve.
A player who has his qualities and who is dismissed in two clubs in a short time is a real shame. He needs to question himself.
It's nothing Abang probably hasn't figured out for himself: inside a year, he's gone from regular MLS and international appearances, to the Danish second division, to a handful games in Finland's top flight, to his second stint on loan to nowhere. Not the ideal career trajectory. Count Hugo Broos among those hoping Abang figures a few things out and gets himself back on a more positive track.