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Thursday, September 21, 2023

DR Congo: Leopards announce squad for friendlies, Bakambu completes move away from Marseille

DR Congo and new national team manager Sébastien Desabre have plenty of time to get ready for the next set of competitive matches after a few setbacks in 2022 for the Leopards and the new coach named his first squad ahead of the upcoming international break. The French tactician put out a list of 28 players for friendly matches against Burkina Faso and Sierra Leone that includes European-based stars like defender Chancel Mbemba as well as attackers Jackson Muleka and Yoane Wissa. DR Congo faces Burkina Faso on September 23 and Sierra Leone four days later with both games tacking place in Morocco.

Among the foreign-based players is forward Cédric Bakambu, who is returning to the Leopards setup while preparing to switch clubs. The Olympique de Marseille player is set for a transfer to Greek champions Olympiakos after struggling to earn playing time with the French club. The 31-year-old did not feature in DR Congo’s games in their disastrous start to 2023 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying as they lost to Gabon at home and Sudan on the road but returns after complaining about the Congolese organization during the Leopards’ 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifying playoff defeat to Morocco.

See the full list of players Desabre called up below.