If you were wondering what is next for Emmanuel Frimpong, it is certainly not a loan move.
The Ghanaian has been one of the stars of Arsenal’s pre-season so far and has drawn much attention in that defensive midfield role. This is Frimpong’s longest ever run in the first team and according to his manager, it may not end here in pre-season.
One advantage about the Premier League’s new squad rule is that players under the age of 21 can be added as bonus members of the 25-man squad and with 18-year-old Frimpong impressing, Wenger may include him next season to supplement his few options in defensive midfield.
Asked whether he will send Frimpong on loan like he normally does with youngsters, Wenger replied:
“No. I want to keep him.”
Wenger also went on to hail the performances of Frimpong and Wilshere in Arsenal’s meeting with AC Milan on Saturday.
“It’s very positive for Arsenal that two 18-year-old players did well in battles against more experienced players. Of course sometimes they have a lack of experience but they both have individual qualities and are fighters. They are not scared of anybody, they put their foot in and really good for it in challenges, in a good way.”
“I think I will keep Wilshere too. He was at Bolton and they wanted to keep him again and I’m sure if I went out looking, I could find clubs. It’s difficult to say how many games he will play because it depends on injuries, which you can’t plan around. Also you don’t want to give a restricted target to a player. He can play wide and in the middle, behind the striker and also deep, which is interesting. He should get a few games.”
The Arsenal boss also made it clear that his choices in playing youngsters are not influenced by the new home-grown player rule.
“I play the players I believe have the quality. We have, not by coincidence but by hard work, a good English generation. Today you did not see Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, who has quality. That is why I play them – because they are good, not because of the rule. I gave Wilshere to Bolton last year and Frimpong played well in pre-season, that is why I played him. It is not linked with the rule. Players like Fabregas, for example, are home-grown.”
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