He might well be the best Dutch player to never have played for The Netherlands. Jeremie Frimpong (21 years old) again impressed last weekend at Leverkusen: he scored twice and gave his new coach Xabi Alonso a nice debut. Born in Amsterdam, the right full back must have impressed Louis van Gaal as well. Here’s three reasons why he should be called up for Oranje.
Note: It’s not for his Dutch language skills. He’s probably the only (young) Oranje player who doesn’t speak Dutch as he left for Manchester at a young age.
Frimpong moved to Man City when he was 9 years old (!). He used to play right winger or left back and shared the dressing room with players like Phil Foden, Jadon Sancho and Eric Garcia. In 2019, he decided to leave Manchester as his chances to play for the first team were slim. he played 1,5 seasons for Celtic but Peter Bosz signed him in 2021 for Leverkusen. He has 60 official games to his name and these games paint a pretty picture
Young Jeremie at City
- He seems born to play wingback
Leverkusen usually plays with 4 or 5 defenders. Frimpong can play in both systems but his strength is the wingback role. Against Schalke 04, last weekend, he demonstrated his blistering pace and lungs again as he has the ability to cover the whole right flank. He can repair defensive issues and is constantly available and threatening in attack.
It seems that Alonso wants to play in a 3-4-3 which is a blessing for the Dutchman. This system is almost identical to the way Van Gaal wants to play. The statistics tell the story: only Borussia Monchengladback striker Hofmann had more forward sprints than Frimpong, who payed way less minues. Only four other players in the Bundesliga demonstrated more speed this year, than Frimpong (who clocked a whopping 35,77 km per hour).
2. The dribbel king of Europe
It’s not just running and bombing forward. He will find space in behind without the ball, but he’s amazing in the one v one. As he has a history as an attacker, he is very skilled on the ball. Probably way more so than Dumfries. His speed, explosiveness, his agility and his technical skills make him a player who is tough to defend.
And it shows in the stats. Of all the defenders in the five top leagues in Europe, Frimpong has the most successful dribbles. Only Cancelo, the City signing who was indirectly responsible for Frimpong’s exit at City, comes close.
Frimpong dribble king
3. His effectiveness
The Dutch NT has always been leaning heavily on the production of Memphis Depay. When he was injured or otherwise not able to play, and Wijnaldum was also absent, there was no one left in the Oranje squad with more than 10 goals. Davy Klaassen of all people is the third in line as top scorer with 9 goals.
In other words, we can use some more prolific players. And Frimpong demonstrates he can bring this, at Leverkusen. He has four goals and is the most prolific defender of the five strongest leagues. Usually, he is the man of the assist. Last season, he had 8 assists in 32 games. Four weeks ago, he had two assists in the CL match versus Atletico Madrid (2-0).
Frimpong scoring goals
4. What should improve
Of course, Frimpong is not yet the finishded article. Dumfries is currently the man for the right back, without much competition. Rensch, Hateboer, even Veltman, they seem a long way from the Orange jersey. Rick Karsdorp is close to the NT but he got injured and only returned to the training pitch this week. Dumfries is important for Oranje, also with his heading capabilities. Oftentimes he is used for the long outball of the goalie. Frimpong is 171 centimeters and not able to compete at this aspect of the game.
One could argue that Dumfries is the better defender of the two. The orientation of the Leverkusen man can be better. Just like recognising the right moment to start the dribble. But it’s undeniable that Frimpong will be a key rival to Dumfries in the near future.
But, Van Gaal will need to act! The Ghana Football Federation is also courting Frimpong at the moment. Van Gaal invited Frimpong twice, or named him twice in the pre-selection. The first time, Frimpong had to reject the invite due to injury. This time around, Van Gaal picked Rensch ahead of the former Celtic man, as Frimpong had less games. So he went to Jong Oranje and showed himself against Belgium. In the Romania game however, Frimpong disappointed gravely, as did the rest of the sloppy team.
In theory, Frimpong could even play for the England squad, albeit that England has an overload of amazing right backs at the moment and won’t be pushing for him. The quick dribble king will have choices to make and it’s up to Louis van Gaal to make sure he picks Oranje. He is a player for the future, alright. Malacia on the left, Frimpong on the right. Van Dijk, Timber and Ake at the back, with Frenkie in front of them. Maybe with Tijani Reijnders next to him and Xavi Simons in front.
The future looks bright.
Source: VI Pro