Celtic have been given a boost with the news that teenage defender Jeremie Frimpong is close to making a comeback.
The Scottish Sun has reported Hoops manager Neil Lennon as saying that the 19-year-old, who was stretchered off in the win at Kilmarnock two weeks ago following a robust tackle from Alan Power, is recovering well and is due to return to training next Monday.
According to The Scottish Sun, the teenager could be in line to return for the Premiership meeting with Hearts next Wednesday, or the following weekend’s trip to Aberdeen if he doesn’t recover in time to face Daniel Stendel’s side.
When Frimpong arrived at Celtic from Manchester City on transfer deadline day last September, he had yet to make his senior debut at club level, having only represented the Premier League champions’ youth teams (as per TransferMarkt).
Summer signing Hatem Abd Elhamed was Lennon’s first choice at right-back for most games in the early weeks of the season but, following the October international break, Frimpong made the position his own until his injury at Kilmarnock last month. The 19-year-old started nine out of 11 Premiership games either side of the winter break, demonstrating his attacking threat by scoring twice and setting up another two goals (as per TransferMarkt).
With Abd Elhamed nursing a muscle injury since the autumn months, Moritz Bauer was drafted in at right-back for the recent win over Ross County before Lennon went with a 3-5-2 against St Johnstone with James Forrest as a roving wing-back. The Celtic manager then went for another change of tack at the weekend as 20-year-old Stephen Welsh was given his senior Hoops debut in the win at Hamilton, with his performance drawing praise from these fans of the club.
It is a sign of Frimpong’s potential that club captain Scott Brown told the Daily Record a few weeks ago that he reckons he “will be worth serious money in a few years” and compared him to ex-Celtic defender Kieran Tierney. With the skipper recently making his 700th career appearance, he is well placed to speak on the potential of players at Parkhead, while Lennon has indicated that he plans to add the teenager to the Hoops’ Europa League squad for the knockout stages (as per Daily Record).
Welsh’s emergence has offered Lennon another option at right-back in Frimpong’s absence but, with Abd Elhamed playing only 13 games in an injury-hit season and Bauer pilloried by some Celtic fans over recent displays, the impending return of the Dutch youngster should come as a significant fillip for the Hoops.
Can Edouard surpass Dembele?
Celtic fans, how big a boost will it be to have Frimpong available for selection again? Comment below with your views!
Click here to comment on this articleor
Give us feedback on your Football Transfer Tavern experience