Posted on Tuesday, 8th May 2012 by Akin Nathan
In the 2010 Emirates Cup, Arsenal fans were given a glimpse of one of their Reserve team players as a certain Ghana-born Englishman shined like a beacon of light in the middle of the park. He was everywhere on the pitch and was giving opponents who had possession of the ball a torrid time. Much was expected of this burgeoning talent as he plays a role short of cover, and he was showing the necessary ingredients required to succeed in the defensive midfield role. However, this early rise to prominence was cut short by an anterior cruciate ligament injury in training, which occurred on the 19th of August 2010, and this developing fairy tale was halted for nine months, as he began his rehabilitation.
Having moved over from his place of birth in Kumasi Ghana at an early age, Emmanuel Frimpong was signed up by Arsenal and inducted into their youth academy at the age of nine, enrolling in Gladesmore community school alongside England international and fellow colleague Jack Wilshere by the club till he was 14 when he decided to pursue a career in football.
In 2008, at the age of 16, Frimpong was promoted to the Reserve side and subsequently went on the pre-season tour of Malaysia before making his Premier League debut for the Gunners on the 13th of August 2011 against Newcastle United.
The 5’10’’ midfielder followed his debut up with his first start against Liverpool, a week after on home soil and Frimpong was on his way to becoming a regular in Arsene Wenger’s team. Although Frimpong’s opportunities came as a result of injuries and suspensions in the midfield, he still made the bench and some substitute appearances but his starting berths, as with other youngsters, came in the League Cup team that was ousted by Manchester City at the quarter-final stage.
With Arsenal out of the Carling Cup and steady and assured performances from Alex Song, Frimpong was shipped out on loan to then relegated threatened Wolves to help steady their ship, amidst promise of regular playing time. Mick McCarthy was impressed with the contribution of his loanee, but cruciate ligament damage to his right knee in a 2-1 win over QPR meant he played only five times for Wolves, and his season was effectively terminated.
As Wenger always fears for his youngsters not to pick up serious injuries early on, as in the case of Theo Walcott, Cesc Fabregas and Jack Wilshere as the Frenchman claims it would hinder their career and their football growth, Frimpong has not been so lucky as he has picked up two long-term injuries in the space of three years, both ruling him out of two seasons in total. Without these long-term injuries, the young midfielder would definitely have been a more regular fixture with the senior setup, but he has had these major blips and time will tell how well he recovers psychologically from his recent blow. However, with the likes of Tomas Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey overcoming similar setbacks, Frimmers can only emulate them and be on his way to his best once again.
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Tags: Aaron Ramsey, Abou Diaby, Alex Song, Arsenal, Arsene Wenger, Cesc Fabregas, Craig Eastmond, Denilson, Emmanuel Frimpong, Francis Coquelin, Jack Wilshere, Mick McCarthy, Theo Walcott, Tomas Rosicky, Yann M'Vila
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