Jeremie Frimpong attempts to change narrative on his Celtic departure

By Euan Davidson

September 29, 2021

Bayer Leverkusen man Jeremie Frimpong left Celtic in January, in what was something of a shock move.

The right-back, signed for a pittance from Manchester City, was enduring a tough season like everyone else at Celtic. However, he was still one of Lennon’s key men, playing in defence and attack in an ever-changing tactical system.

The German giants launched what seemed to be a very generous bid for Frimpong, landing the Dutch youngster for up to £11.5m [BBC]. From Celtic’s perspective, it was good business, but it did also leave the Bhoys with problems in defence.

Jonjoe Kenny was brought in from Everton, for a rather ineffectual spell. Neil Lennon attempted to make it easier for supporters at the time, by saying Frimpong “made it clear” he wanted out of Celtic Park [Sky Sports].

However, that isn’t necessarily Frimpong’s version of events. He told the Daily Record:

“I was not looking to leave Celtic, when the chance came to join Leverkusen it was not something I was actively looking to do. I was happy with my teammates, happy with the fans.

“The Bundesliga is one of the top three leagues in Europe and when you get that chance it was impossible for me to say no.

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“I didn’t know of their interest in me. It was a shock. But the chance to play for one of the best clubs in Germany was not something I could turn down.”

Jeremie Frimpong wants to set Celtic record straight before Thursday night clash

Frimpong is now thriving at Leverkusen, in a young, talented Bundesliga team.

Die Werkself sit second in the German top-flight, and the charismatic young right-back has been a big part of the club’s promising early form. He has 4 assists, spread evenly between the Bundesliga and Europa League.

While he was never the perfect defender for Celtic, he at least had significant potential, and could get fans out of their seats. An £11m gamble for Leverkusen, he looks to be paying off, now he’s finding his stride.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

In fairness, you can’t really blame him for taking his opportunity. However, he was presented as something of want-away player who was unhappy at Celtic. In his words, he wasn’t.

He was happy at the club that had given him a huge platform. In hindsight, it was really cynical of the manager to present the situation as something different.

The 20-year-old could have a bright future. If he does, a lot of that’s down to Celtic, and Frimpong knows that. Not only does he know it, he’s grateful for it.

While we don’t want the ex-Celtic man to have his best game against us on Thursday night, it’d be sad to see Frimpong being welcome to Paradise with anything other than warmth. In a brief spell, he gave us some excellent moments.

Read more: The strict conditions that may bar many Celtic fans from Ferencvaros trip