Cameroon's Indomitable Lions head coach Clarence Seedorf has included Christian Bassogog in a 23-man squad to face Malawi in next month’s African Cup of Nations (Afcon) 2019 qualifier.
Seedorf had earlier declared that he was not considering China-based players.
The move to recall the Most Valuable Player of the Afcon 2017 in Gabon comes two days after former captain Benjamin Moukandjo announced his retirement from international football.
Moukandjo, who captained the Indomitable Lions to their fifth continental crown in Gabon in 2017, announced his exit from the den at the weekend, saying he was provoked by Seedorf’s option to sideline China-based players for the game against the Comoros earlier this month.
Unveiling his first ever selection at a press conference in Yaoundé, the Dutchman said players plying their trade in China were not his first choice with Moukandjo and Bassogog falling in the category. Seedorf declared that good young players competed in best clubs in Europe and appeared in top competitions like the Champions League, and not in Asia.
Soccer pundits in Cameroon think that by backpedalling, Seedorf wanted to avoid losing another star ahead of Afcon 2019 on the home soil.
The 22-year-old Bassogog has scored 15 in 44 appearances since joining Chinese super league side Henan Jianye early last year.
Seedorf has also called up defender Jean-Armel Kana Biyik, who has been on the sidelines for a while, as well as Olympique Marseille striker Clinton Njie, who was one of the notable absentees from the Dutch man’s first ever squad.
Cameroon host Malawi on October 12 before a return leg at the 65,000 capacity Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre, on October 16.
Goalkeepers: Fabrica Ondoa, Andre Onana, Idriss Carlos Kameni.
Defenders: Fai Collins, Michael Ngadeu-Ngadjui, Ambroise Oyongo Bitolo, Yaya Banana, Jerome Onguene, Gaetan Bong, Jean Armel Kana Biyik and Felix Eboa Eboa.
Midfielders: Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Georges Mandjeck, Pierre Kunde Malong and Pierre Ramses Akono
Forwards: Vincent Aboubakar, Stephane Bahoken, Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting, Karl Toko Ekambi, Paul-Georges Ntep, Dimitri Oberlin, Clinton Njie and Christian Bassogog.