Celtic manager Neil Lennon has confirmed that defender Jeremie Frimpong will be added to his Europa League squad for the knockout stages of the competition, The Sunday Post report.
Frimpong signed for the Hoops during the summer transfer window, but Lennon and his coaches had yet to make a full assessment on the player’s readiness for the first-team and so he wasn’t included in our European squad for the group stage, which had limited spaces.
However, he’ll now be given the opportunity to be set loose on continental competition, with Lennon confirming he won’t be holding the player back from the Copenhagen tie.
As quoted by The Sunday Post, the manager said: “We’ll definitely include him in it. I think we have enough wriggle room. But the bottom line is he’s going in, and if it means one has to drop out, then we’ll have to look at that.
“He has the exuberance of youth but there’s no malice in him or arrogance about him. He came as an emerging talent, but his performances in training were outstanding against high-calibre players.
“It came to the point where you just couldn’t stop the progress, and that’s not always the case with young players.”
Watch out Copenhagen
The Danish champions would do well to be very wary of Frimpong, based on his sudden burst into the Celtic first-team. As Lennon says he’s an undeniable talent who can easily cause teams problems down our right flank.
To date, he’s shown excellent defensive resilience too, save for one brief error in the League Cup final.
I doubt many Celtic fans will have concerns about his first taste of European football coming in one of our most important ties for years. In fact, there’ll be expectation he can be one of our top performers home and away.
His selection will depend on his form closer to the time, but with the consistency shown so far, you wouldn’t expect Hatem Abd Elhamed or Moritz Bauer to be able to keep him out of the side.
Hopefully he can announce his arrival on the European scene, just as he has in Scotland.