When Emmanuel Frimpong arrived on the Arsenal scene at the start of last season, there was hope among Gooners that he would be the answer to our defensive midfield problems. The then-19-year-old looked strong on his debut against Newcastle in August 2011, inspiring some fans into believing he was the next Patrick Vieira.
However, 15 months down the line and Frimpong has not quite turned out to be the player we all hoped he would be. A red card against Liverpool just three games into his career proved the youngster had a lot to learn about controlling his passions on the pitch and despite playing 19 games Frimpong failed to convince in his debut season.
News that Frimpong has agreed to join Charlton on loan until January should please Arsenal fans therefore, many of who recently voiced concern over the player’s stuttering start to his Emirates career. The midfielder was sent out on loan to Wolves at the start of 2012 but injury cut it short, meaning a frustrating spell on the sidelines back at Arsenal’s training ground.
However, despite returning to fitness he has made just two appearances all season – both in the Capital One Cup – and is so hardly going to influence the side’s Premier league odds. Boss Arsene Wenger therefore must feel he is still not ready for the first team.
Indeed, another loan spell can only do good for a player still learning the game. Frimpong’s enthusiasm on the field may pump some adrenaline into the terraces but his volatile game has proven costly, with the Liverpool clash a prime example.
Few Arsenal fans would argue that had Frimpong been on the pitch in the Gunners’ recent 5-2 victory over Tottenham, he would have been favourite to get sent off. He is as exciting a proposition as he is dangerous and the youngster must add some rationality to his game.
Indeed, it is hoped, therefore, that a loan spell at the Addicks will aid the 20-year-old’s development and help him settle down in professional football. It is a big task to expect anyone to fill Vieira’s boots but if Frimpong can prove his temperament at Charlton, Arsenal will feel the benefits in the long run.