Arsenal’s Emmanuel Frimpong: The Next Patrick Vieira
Arsenal's 19-year-old Ghanaian midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong made his first Premier League start in the red and white of Arsenal against Liverpool at the Emirates on Saturday.
It was a bittersweet beginning—one that the youngster will remember for a long time.
He played exceptionally well in the midfield of Arsenal, shielding the back four with aggression and power.
However, he crossed the boundaries of controlled aggression and committed too many reckless fouls, some of those he could have easily avoided, and in the end, picked up a second yellow in the second half to prematurely end his eventful day.
With his departure, Arsenal's resistance was broken, and Liverpool scored twice, highlighting the part Frimpong played in protecting the Gunners' back four.
Frimpong would consider himself unlucky that he had to wait this long to make his Premier League start thanks to the injury he suffered last summer which kept him out of the team for the whole of last season—a disappointment for the club and the player alike, as he was expected to play a part last season following a promising preseason.
Sliding past all the obstacles, Frimpong is now back with a vengeance ready to make up for the lost time. He certainly made a mark against Liverpool and will look to build on his performance. He's ambitious and bleeds the red of Arsenal.
A relief for Arsenal fans amidst the drama surrounding the future of Samir Nasri.
Most of the foreign imports end up as mercenaries with little or no love for the clubs they represent. Exceptions are there, though most of the foreign players value money over loyalty.
If they are immune to the lure of money, then certainly the lure of a return to their homeland is too big a temptation to turn down.
For instance, Cesc Fabregas was torn between his love for Arsenal and Barcelona, and the lure of a return to his homeland was too big a temptation to turn down, and subsequently, Arsenal were forced to sell.
The tedious saga involving Fabregas underlined the importance of players who love to wear the red and white of Arsenal and treat the club as their destination instead of a stepping stone to bigger and better things.
Frimpong is one such player who is destined for big things with Arsenal.
He resembles an Arsenal legend not in terms of height, but his passion and style draws comparisons to Patrick Vieira.
The starlet is a tenacious tackler and has great stamina. He breaks the play up and distributes the ball swiftly.
Arsenal's ex-captain Vieira was renowned for starting and finishing moves.
His height, strength and ability as a footballer intimidated opponents. He was also a great asset in attack with his good passing skills.
Frimpong still has a long way to go, but he is certainly more than a mere holding midfielder.
He can pick a pass and glide past players and has good composure. He can't be bullied off the ball, and in due time, will blossom into an intimidating figure in the colours of Arsenal.
His ability to shoot from long range will add another weapon to Arsenal's armoury.
This tenacious Arsenal prodigy is on track to fill the void left by Vieira, and a midfield comprising Jack Wilshere and Frimpong could dictate terms in the Premier League for the next decade or so.