Jeremie Frimpong: Who is the Bayer Leverkusen and Netherlands right-back with links to Manchester City and England?
Jeremie Frimpong played with Jadon Sancho at youth level for Manchester City and won a domestic treble with Celtic - but what else is there to know about the Bayer Leverkusen and Netherlands right-back? bundesliga.com fills in the blanks...
Club: Bayer Leverkusen
Country: The Netherlands (six U21 caps)
Netherlands-born but with Ghanaian roots on his maternal side, Frimpong has actually spent over half his life in Great Britain. His family upped sticks for England when he was seven, and within two years the young boy from Amsterdam was kicking about in the Man City youth academy. Frimpong crossed paths with Sancho in the U18s before the latter made a career-shaping move to Borussia Dortmund. Despite impressing with the U23s in Premier League 2 and the UEFA Youth League, the Dutchman left the Etihad Campus without playing a single minute of senior football.
That's not all Frimpong has in common with Sancho. The 5'8" right-back made a huge impression on the professional circuit after joining Celtic in summer 2019, making 24 competitive appearances across his debut season of senior football. He produced four goals and five assists as the Hoops won a Scottish Premiership Cup and League Cup treble, and contributed a further six goals in 30 outings in 2020/21, before penning a four-year deal with Leverkusen.
Frimpong quickly settled at the BayArena, making 10 Bundesliga appearances in the second half of 2020/21, before truly making the right-back slot his own in 2021/22. He made 26 appearances, scoring one goal and providing six assists, before a ligament injury ended his campaign in mid-March just as his performances had been rewarded with a maiden call-up to the senior Netherlands squad. That did not deter Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal, who selected Frimpong for his 2022 World Cup squad having watched the Leverkusen man register five goals and three assists in the first half of 2022/23. He did not play a minute for De Oranje in Qatar, but after settling back into club football, hit a purple patch with three goals in just four outings between Matchdays 23 and 26 to help his team to a run of four successive wins.
Watch: Jeremie Frimpong scored his first Bundesliga brace on Matchday 9 of 2022/23
Plays a bit like: Achraf Hakimi
When his teams are in possession, Frimpong behaves like a right winger rather than a right-back. He has the pace to eat up ground in the final third and boasts a keen eye for a decisive pass. He doesn't shirk his defensive duties, though, his acceleration the fuel for some rocket-propelled recovery challenges.
Achraf Hakimi brought the best of both worlds to the table during a two-year loan spell spent dovetailing with Sancho at Dortmund - and Frimpong has struck up a similarly fruitful partnership with Moussa Diaby down the Leverkusen right.
Did you know?
If Frimpong wasn't such a talented footballer, he could no doubt make his way in the world as a translator or interpreter.
"It was English that was spoken in the house when I was growing up," he told goal.com. "That and the Ghanaian language called Twi. My mum would normally speak that to me, but my brothers and sisters all speak English. I'm still working on my Dutch. I know how to speak it a little. If I do play for the national team, I will try to learn it."
Frimpong won a handful of U19, U20 and U21 caps for the Netherlands, but was previously eligible to represent Ghana and England at senior level. He has yet to win a senior cap for the Dutch.
What they're saying
"He's technically strong, incredibly fast and is an attack-minded player. He has huge potential." - Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes
"Young, accomplished on the ball, versatile, with real pace and a very lively style of play: if Jeremie continues in the same way in the coming years, he could be an important part of our team." - former Leverkusen CEO Rudi Völler
"I've never seen a better kid than him. The quality of his play, the pace of his play, the end product. His fitness levels are incredible, I think that the fans have really taken to him." - former Celtic head coach Neil Lennon
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