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Sports News of Sunday, 25 February 2018

Source: Graphic.com.gh

What's happened to ex-Arsenal and Ghana midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong

Who remembers Emmanuel Frimpong?

Once upon a time, it looked as if the young Ghanaian was going to break into the Arsenal first-team for good and the midfielder made waves on social media with his 'Dench' catchphrase, music and clothing line. Fast forward seven years and his flying career has taken on a strange trajectory, with his 2014 departure from English football taking him on all number of travels.

It all started at the age of nine when Frimpong first linked up with Arsenal, playing alongside the likes of Keiran Gibbs and Jack Wilshere in a generation that won the FA Youth Cup in 2009.

His success in the youth sides was eventually rewarded in 2011 when he graduated to the Arsenal first team and played in that year's Emirates Cup where Arsene Wenger remarked: "I believe Frimpong has done really well as well. He is a bit less of a dribbler but he is a fighter and he is a winner."

LOAN SPELLS WITH WOLVES, CHARLTON AND FULHAM

rimpong was handed his Premier League debut a matter of weeks later, but faced a red card in the arguably the biggest game of his career against Liverpool.

The 26-year-old would go onto accumulate 14 appearances that season before a series of mediocre performances saw him loaned out. Between 2011 and 2013, the Ghanaian spent time away with Wolves, Charlton Athletic and Fulham.

He left Arsenal for good in 2013 with a doomed move to Barnsley that produced just nine appearances, before his career took a truly bizarre turn with a Russia switch.

MOVE TO RUSSIA AND ARSENAL TULA

Frimpong was sadly subject to racial abuse during his time in Russia but played for both FC Ufa and the aptly named FC Arsenal Tula. He appeared 32 times without scoring or claiming silverware in the world's largest nation.

And, finally, we find ourselves at the current season. It's fair to say Frimpong has already endured a tumultuous time in the game but that's been more apparent than ever in 2017-18.

SPELLS IN SWEDEN AND CYPRUS

Firstly, Frimpong attempted to revive his career in Sweden with AFC Eskilstuna where his old Arsenal youth teammate Jernade Meade resides. Nevertheless, he didn't reach the New Year in Scandinavia and moved to pastures new after 10 appearances.

The 26-year-old's currently club comes in a somewhat sunnier location but not a nation renowned for its football - Cyprus.

Ermis Aradippou FC, in the first division, has Frimpong on his books with the Ghanaian 14 outings deep into his time at the club.

Quite the narrative, we're sure you'll agree. It goes to show that even a footballing education at one of the world's biggest clubs doesn't necessarily forecast success in the professional game.

While there's no shame in Frimpong's current pastures, you can't help but feel he missed his chance at Arsenal when it presented himself. And after spells in Russia, Sweden and Cyprus, you can probably bet he's coming to a country near you.