Cameroon International footballer, Andre Onana lifted his maiden title with Ajax on Sunday.
As a goalkeeper, Onana was in Barcelona’s youth system from 2010 and was promoted to their Under-19 team in 2015, but he did not play a senior game, as Ajax bought him later year.
Onana a product of the Samuel Eto’o Academy, received praises from Four-time African Footballer of the Year and ex-Cameroon international, Samuel Eto’o who congratulated his compatriot on Instagram for winning the 2018-19 Dutch Cup with Ajax.
Onana has traveled a road where talent like his is nurtured and not balked at.
He cost Ajax points when he lost the ball against Groningen and also had incidents where he rushed out of the box too early against AZ Alkmaar at home and NEC Nijmegen away, but those mistakes are considered collateral damage for the marginal gain now enjoyed by Ajax.
Crowned 2019 Dutch cup champions and the dream of a first European trophy in 24 years is alive. At 23-years-old, he has been the perfect replacement.
André joined the Samuel Eto’o Academy aged 13 and moved to Barcelona before being spotted by Ajax and moving to Amsterdam at the age of 18.
After a few years with Jong Ajax in the Eerste Divisie and playing in the UEFA Youth League, he then replaced Cillessen.
It was revealed that coaches at Barcelona believed that they had goalkeepers who were more talented than Onana while there were murmurs around the Ajax academy that the Amsterdammers had more talented goalkeepers than the Cameroonian as well.
Those assumptions have been proved wrong this season.
His feet are not just used for passing as he is also adept at saving shots with his feet, He can also set counters with his throws after crosses and corners and he has got an assist this season after he made a save off an Alireza Jahanbakhsh opportunity and then played an accurate long ball to Amin Younes, who provided the finish.
Onana became the first Ajax goalkeeper to save a penalty since Kenneth Vermeer in 2013. The Cameroonian shot-stopper is confident in his abilities which allows him to recover well from making mistakes.
He has kept 20 clean sheets in all competitions, 7 of them have been away from home while at the beginning of the year, he went on a run of 7 games without conceding.
Onana will hope to replicate his fine form between the sticks when Cameroon begin their title defense at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations in Egypt.
The Indomitable Lions have been paired against Guinea-Bissau, Benin, and Ghana in Group F.