With all the attention on Jack Wilshere’s return to first team action and rightly so after 14 months without being seen anywhere near a football pitch, it’s somewhat gone under the radar that playing in the same Arsenal under-21 match at West Brom having indeed returned in last week’s league cup victory over Coventry was Emmanuel Frimpong.
The Ghanaian may never be the tidiest of footballers, particularly as an Arsenal player and indeed has seemingly become more famous for his youtube videos and use of the word “dench” rather than his ability on the pitch.
But it must not be forgotten that before his injury last season, the central midfielder had shown some promising displays for both Arsenal and on-loan at Wolves where the fans really took to him before injury so cruelly cut his season short.
If Frimpong can re-find his form, then he can offer Arsenal something their midfield currently appears to lack: a true defensive presence. Mikel Arteta may have performed the role with some distinction so far this season but with Abou Diaby now missing for the next three weeks, the space is open for someone more defensively minded such as Frimpong to take their place in the midfield and provide protection for the mercurial Santi Cazorla to flourish ahead.
Many at Arsenal remember Frimpong’s first Premier League start to the club at home to Liverpool, in which the young midfielder was the one shining light in a dismal 2-0 home defeat at the Emirates. At times, Frimpong’s drive and passion looked like it was set to single-handedly deliver the game for the Gunners only for ill-discipline in the shape of a red card to bring the youngster out of the game and with that, hand the points to Liverpool.
That is perhaps Frimpong’s biggest obstacle to becoming a top player for Arsenal. For all of his admirable passion and commitment, it can often lead to ill-discipline on the football field and frustratingly, not even in the shape of bad tackles but more with regards to dissent to both officials and opposition players. However, let us not forget how young Frimpong is at only 20 and if he can rediscover the form the video below shows, then Arsenal’s bonus at having Wilshere back may become doubled.