Emergence of Jeremie Frimpong has been biggest surprise of Neil Lennon's second Celtic reign

By John Reid

November 14, 2020

With Celtic on an international break, we thought we’d take a look at what player could be considered as the biggest surprise of Neil Lennon’s second spell in charge of the club.

When you look at Neil Lennon’s second spell as Celtic manager, then for a lot of the games the Hoops boss has relied on the players that have been integral to the club’s success over the last few seasons.

James Forrest, Scott Brown, Callum McGregor, for example, have all been mainstays of the Celtic side. But there has been one player whose acceptation into the first-team has come as probably the biggest surprise of Lennon’s second spell, as it is one that few would have seen coming. That player is 19-year-old right-back Jeremie Frimpong.

Frimpong joined the Hoops from Manchester City in 2019, with the player’s fee reported by the Scottish Sun to be £350,000, which could rise in the future to £1m.

Wasn’t in Europa League group stage squad

At first, it looked liked the player would mainly be used in the reserve team, to get game time before an eventual first-team breakthrough. He wasn’t included in the squad for the Europa League group stages.

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However, injuries to Moritz Bauer and Hatem Elhamed left Celtic with a right-back problem ahead of a Betfred Cup tie against Partick Thistle.

Neil Lennon decided to give Frimpong his first-team debut and the player didn’t look back. He turned in an excellent performance in a 5-0 win.

Since then, Frimpong has played in the majority of Celtic’s games. He has featured against Rangers, in European games, and at the most difficult away venues in the league like Pittodrie.

Made an impression very quickly

That is a big vote of confidence in a player who is still just 19-years-old. His rapid rise to prominence has to be considered a surprise. Few would have expected the player to make such an impression so quickly.

Jeremie Frimpong in action for Celtic / (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

When he is fit, Frimpong is most likely the first-choice right-back going forward.

Credit has to be given to the player for maintaining such a good run of form, when he could have become overwhelmed by the situation he finds himself in. He hasn’t though, he has dealt with every big occasion well. Neil Lennon deserves credit for the faith he has shown in the player.

In other news, Shane Duffy could make a swift return to the Celtic side if Kris Ajer is forced to self-isolate.

 


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