The on-going theme of Arsenal youngsters departing the club has continued today with midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong securing a permanent move to Championship side Barnsley.
Frimpong, for all the promise he showed whilst progressing through the ranks at the club, particularly during the FA Youth Cup-winning season of 2008/09, departs Arsenal with just sixteen senior appearances to his name, the most recent of which came over a year ago.
The 22 year old’s career to date has been blighted by serious knee injuries and perceived attitude problems, but it is easy to forget the immense promise he demonstrated during a loan spell with Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2012 where he seemed as if he possessed the necessary power to provide a long-term solution to Arsenal’s defensive-midfield situation.
It has been evident for some time, however, that manager Arsene Wenger did not view Frimpong as part of his long-term plans at the club, and, with the Ghana international’s contract set to expire in the summer, this was the final opportunity to receive a fee for a player who spent ten years in Arsenal’s academy before he was promoted to the first-team squad in the summer of 2011.
He featured six times for Arsenal in the Premier League during the 2011/12 season, but, in recent times has become more renowned for his exploits on social media than his prowess on the pitch. It is hoped that his move to Barnsley will provide him with regular game time and will help him to reinvigorate a career that has stagnated somewhat in recent months.
A close friend of Jack Wilshere’s, there was a time when visions of the pair forming a midfield partnership for the Arsenal first-team did not appear to be too far fetched. Now, though, Frimpong’s chance has gone after he failed to sufficiently impress during loan spells with Fulham and Charlton Athletic last season.
For all his power and ability to make crunching challenges, Frimpong’s passing ability always left a lot to be desired and now, after amassing almost 100 appearances for the club from U18 level upwards, his association with Arsenal has come to an end.
Frimpong’s departure means that only Jack Wilshere and Francis Coquelin remain at the club from the aforementioned FA Youth Cup success, with the latter’s long-term future at the club uncertain as he is currently on loan at Freiburg.
Another youngster has departed the club today, albeit on a temporary basis, with defender Daniel Boateng joining Scottish Premier League side Hibernian on loan for the rest of the season. Boateng, who has previously spent time with Swindon Town and Oxford United, is set to be released by Arsenal in the summer.