“From what I understand…” – Romano hints Arsenal could swoop for £35m ace after Timber.

"From what I understand..." - Romano hints Arsenal could swoop for £35m ace after Timber.
“From what I understand…” – Romano hints Arsenal could swoop for £35m ace after Timber.

Arsenal are interested in Bayer Leverkusen wing-back Jeremie Frimpong, but the imminent signing of Jurrien Timber could stop a move from materialising, according to Fabrizio Romano.

Who is Jeremie Frimpong?
Frimpong began his career in the youth setup at Manchester City, where he spent nine years before moving to the Scottish Premiership with Celtic. In his short spell in Scotland, the 22-year-old made 51 appearances and scored three goals, winning the only league title of his career so far. The right-back received lots of interest whilst at Parkhead and in January 2021 sealed a move to Bundesliga side Bayer Leverkusen.

Frimpong enjoyed his career breakthrough at Leverkusen, where he has made 95 appearances and scored 11 goals whilst providing 20 assists, becoming one of the most highly coveted young defenders on the planet.

Premier League sides Arsenal and Manchester United have been reported as having an interest in the defender, though the Red Devils’ next steps in their pursuit are dependent on their ownership situation.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Romano revealed that whilst Arsenal do hold an interest in the former Celtic man, the recent signing of Timber by the Gunners may stop them pushing on with a move.

“We had some rumours about [Frimpong] that Arsenal are not in an official negotiation with Bayer Leverkusen for Frimpong.

“From what I understand, Bayer Leverkusen want at least around £35m for Frimpong, so at the moment, Arsenal are very happy with Timber who can help in different positions.

“Then, we will see if they attack the Frimpong situation or not. But at the moment, just some preliminary talks a few days ago and weeks ago, but not something advanced for Frimpong.”

Would Frimpong be the right signing for Arsenal?
The signing of Frimpong would bring a different aspect to the Gunners’ current full-back situation.

As it stands, the club’s most natural right-back is Cedric, who is third-choice behind natural central defenders Ben White and Takehiro Tomiyasu. Whilst the duo have performed admirably in the position across the past couple of seasons, they do have a couple of issues.

The Japan international has struggled with injuries since arriving at the Emirates, missing 24 games through injury, whilst White, although defensively sound, leaves something to be desired from an attacking end.

That is where the Dutchman from Leverkusen comes in. He is statistically one of the best attacking full-backs on the planet, sitting in the top 5% in categories such as progressive carries, successful take-ons, touches in the attacking penalty area and non-penalty goals per 90 (as per FBref). His 0.21 assists per 90 ranks him in the top 10%, which makes it clear to see the dynamic he could offer Mikel Arteta and why the north London side are so interested.

The attacking threat that the wing-back carries could also be beneficial to Bukayo Saka. Opposition teams often try to man-mark Saka out of the game or commit two to three players on him alone, sometimes even resorting to kicking and fouling him. However, the threat that Frimpong poses means that defenders cannot simply leave him unmarked to focus on the Englishman, which in turn creates more space and more threatening possibilities for the current England Player of the Year.

Should Arsenal decide to push on in their pursuit of Frimpong, the different dynamic he offers could be the deciding factor in the success they achieve this season.

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