Former England goalkeeper Paul Robinson has downplayed the impending return of Celtic defender Jeremie Frimpong from injury, saying that the youngster has not been missed in recent weeks.
The 19-year-old was stretchered off in the Hoops’ win at Kilmarnock nearly a month ago after a robust challenge from Alan Power and, while he hasn’t appeared for the club since then, he was named on the bench for Sunday’s win at Aberdeen as he nears a comeback after returning to the matchday squad for the first time in seven matches (as per TransferMarkt).
Speaking to Football Insider about the teenager, Robinson said: “They do not need him the way they are playing! They have stretched the lead and it looks like the league is now sewn up.
“Frimpong coming back in is a big boost because he has been playing well this year. It is not a timely return though because their form and the results they are getting they are not in need of changing much around.”
In one sense, the ex-Tottenham goalkeeper is correct – Celtic haven’t suffered greatly in Frimpong’s absence, winning every game they have played since the mid-season break. Indeed, in the five Premiership games for which he wasn’t in the matchday squad, the Hoops won each of them by at least three goals, in the process establishing a 10-point lead at the top of the table.
Also, Robinson has at least acknowledged that the youngster has had a strong season so far at Parkhead, with two goals and four assists to his name from 16 first team appearances as he established himself as a fixed presence in Neil Lennon’s starting XI from October to the time of his injury in January. The manager has frequently gone with a 3-5-2 formation during Frimpong’s absence, with James Forrest playing as a roving wing-back in the win at Aberdeen.
The teenager could come back into the team for the Europa League trip to Copenhagen on Thursday as he has been named in Celtic’s squad for the knockout rounds of the tournament. However, as Robinson has said, the Hoops have not exactly hit a tailspin in his absence despite him enjoying a positive season, while the ex-England goalkeeper has rightly stated that his imminent return from injury is still “a big boost” for the Scottish champions.
Celtic fans, what did you make of Robinson’s remarks about Frimpong’s injury absence over the last month? Share your views in the comments section below!
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