Frimpong makes reserves return

BY foxsports • April 6, 2011

The 19-year-old had featured alongside Wilshere in the Gunners' pre-season matches, and produced impressive displays in the Emirates Cup against the AC Milan and Celtic. However, Frimpong then suffered cruciate knee ligament damage in training, so had to sit and watch as Wilshere went on to win full England honours in a breakthrough campaign for club and country. The teenager, however, made a welcome return to action when he came on for the final 22 minutes of Arsenal's 4-2 reserve win over Sunderland at Underhill. Frimpong, born in Ghana but raised in north London, revealed it had been a testing spell of his young career. "It's been hard over the last [eight] months because I was doing well. You want to be out on the pitch and showing what you can do," Frimpong said on "I was going to go on loan [last summer] but then the boss said he wanted me to stay and be part of the team. "It was just unfortunate that I got injured. I think being injured for so long can only make me stronger." There is an outside chance the combative England youth international, who may yet decide to go on to represent the Black Stars, could yet be back in first team contention by the end of the campaign. For now, though, Frimpong will just take things one step at a time. "It felt a bit strange being on the pitch, but hopefully the more games I can play the more I am going to feel okay," he said. "It hadn't been planned for me to play, but I told [reserves manager] Neil [Banfield] that I felt fine to play. I'm just happy to be playing after so long." Veteran goalkeeper Jens Lehmann got another 90 minutes under his belt for the reserves as he looks to build up match sharpness. Following the frustrating goalless draw against Blackburn, the destiny of the Barclays Premier League is now out of Arsenal's hands, trailing leaders Manchester United by seven points, albeit having played a match less ahead of their showdown at Emirates Stadium on May 1. Gunners boss Arsene Wenger was visibly down after Saturday's flat performance, and for the first time perhaps suggested his unwavering faith in the young side could have been misplaced. Nevertheless, Wenger looks again set to bring in more talented youth, with a £1million deal for Charlton's 19-year-old right-back Carl Jenkinson reported to be close.

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