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Frimpong the new Essien?

Emmanuel FrimpongWritten by Jonny Payne.

Emmanuel Frimpong has long been touted as a potential Arsenal star, and now the young Ghanaian has a chance to impress during the club’s preseason tour of Austria. He shares nationality and many attributes with a certain Chelsea player, but can Frimpong be Arsenal’s answer to Michael Essien?

Frimpong and fellow midfield destroyer Francis Coquelin provided a solid midfield base for the double-winning Arsenal youth team in 2009. Last season, while Coquelin continued his progress, Frimpong was dogged by injuries. This allowed Craig Eastmond to jump ahead of him in the pecking order – and somewhat surprisingly, straight into the first team squad.

With Coquelin moving on loan to Lorient for the duration of this season, a fully fit Frimpong was given a chance to impress during Arsenal’s first friendly at Barnet, and he was widely recognised as one of the best performers.

Frimpong was quick in the tackle, effective with the ball and altogether a determined bundle of energy against the League Two hosts.

The greatly improved Alex Song is now one of the first players on the teamsheet and rightly so, but Arsenal still do not have a ‘nasty’ Jack Russell-type midfielder who can snap at the oppositions heels, breaking up possession and committing fouls when needed. Chelsea have two such players in Michael Essien and John Obi Mikel, one of the reasons why they have been so successful in recent years.

But Arsenal may now have found that player in Frimpong.

Like Essien, Frimpong was born in Ghana, but he moved to England at the age of nine. The Accra-born player decided to play for England under-16s, but he has since switched his allegiance to Ghana.

Although primarily a defensive minded player, Essien enjoys a foray forwards to great effect, scoring stunning goals in the process – as sadly many Arsenal fans will remember. Although Frimpong lacks Essien’s shooting accuracy, as many Arsenal youth follows can testify, his all action style is very similar.

For Essien and Mikel read Song and Frimpong – it even has a nice ring to it.

Arsene Wenger will have the opportunity to assess Frimpong at first-hand during the ongoing Austrian training camp. The midfielder made his second start of preseason in the 3-0 win over Sturm Graz on Wednesday, putting in another composed and confident performance.

This time last year another young player, Jack Wilshere, was impressing on the tour, but this time around it looks to be Frimpong’s turn.

Given the new Premier League rules on homegrown talent, Frimpong may soon be given a first-team shirt competing with Denilson and Eastmond for the backup to Song.  I certainly know who I would prefer to stand-in.

Does Emmanuel Frimpong have what it takes to make it in the first team? Have your say below.



  1. matt

    July 26, 2010 at 10:12 am

    I think it’s too soon to say. People seem to forget that we haven’t been playing teams equal to ourselves. He has been performing very well against weaker opponents, and i would like to see him in the first team to cover song against the lower teams in the premiership, and, almost certainly, the carling cup. I hope he progresses quickly, because he posesses the qualities to fill the massive gap in aggression that has been in arsenal since viera left

  2. Agus marbun

    July 26, 2010 at 11:42 am

    we need to see how he progress in a routine EPL match… we have alot of potential young players… but their still dont have the guts (mentally) to face bigger club, bigger match etc…

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  4. Fab4

    July 26, 2010 at 11:53 am

    I like the look of Frimpong. He’s still got a lot to do but hopefully he can get a good run in the carling cup, perhaps a game or two in the FA Cup to get some experience then next season he might make the break-through.

    I would love him to make it at Arsenal, as matt says, he’s got that aggression we’ve lacked since Vieira. I strongly feel he’s a much better long-term option than Song as our defensive midfielder.

  5. Tom14

    July 26, 2010 at 11:56 am

    He is clearly a good player. I think he will end up on loan (either all season or in January after the Carling Cup games) where we can see how good he really is.

    Nowhere near Denilson, Diaby or Song just yet.


    July 26, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    remember song took time to become the player he is developing into.
    these are young kids so they need patience and not too much pressure to be the “next big thing” .

    frimpong is still developing physically and mentally now he needs experience and by all accounts he is now traing with the 1st team so that will also help.

    the future is bright the future is RED AND WHITE!!!!


  7. g4eva

    July 27, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    fuk off denilson
    fuk me frimpong.

  8. HumphreyBogartGunner

    July 29, 2010 at 2:56 pm

    Oh please some of you are starting to sound like our manager, “we have a lot of youth with quality, but we cannot rush them” If the lad is any good, then he won’t have a problem swimming when thrown in the deep end. Fact is, if he won’t spend on the necessary experience then the younger players will have to step in, we are running on fumes here and running low. We sell the quality senior players soon as they get good. I’m for Frimpong getting as many games as Ramsey or Eastmond got last season. Some of this younger players look better than the likes of Denilson, Fabianski and co.

  9. kalebd63

    July 29, 2010 at 3:29 pm

    watched all three pre-season games, instantly feel that Fringpong is far better than both Dennilson and Diaby.
    He is tidy with his control and distribution of the ball yet gritty in the tackle. Fantastic propect, great composure, built like a brick ~~## house, and not yet fully developed.
    Sing for Song and Fingpong the oppositions die.

  10. Ginethon ndunguru

    July 31, 2011 at 7:28 am

    Frimpong had fantastic parfomance yesterday, and think i will be a golden chance in next season to protray his potential…. All best, help our team to rift a trophy,,

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