Arsene Wenger hinted that Emmanuel Frimpong may go out on loan as he believes the midfielder needs competitive games to develop further as a player.
Speaking at his pre-game press conference in Greece this evening Wenger praised Frimpong’s combative qualities and suggested the game against Olympiacos was a chance for him to show what he can do.
“He is a guy you know you can go to war with him, he has a real winner attitude,” he said. “Now for him it is to take the final step and get a regular place in the Arsenal team.
“He was massively impressive before he got injured, because he had been outstanding in pre-season. He struggled to come back and feels he is not completely back to his best, but I think he is – what Manu needs now are competitive games.”
Whether that means at Arsenal or on loan, as was mooted last week, remains to be seen, but the Ghanaian may find his chances of competitive football increased with a temporary move in the new year.
And Frimpong admitted he had moments of self-doubt when recovering from the cruciate knee ligament injury he picked during the summer of 2010.
“I knew I would come back to playing football, but felt I was never going to get my chance at Arsenal again”, he explained.
“When I had my chance, everything was going well. I thought that when I came back, we would have all the other players fit again.
“But in football you cannot predict anything, and I have just carried on from where I left off, and have that chance again. Now I have to keep playing well to force the issue of playing in the team.”
And the famous Greek atmosphere won’t faze Frimpong one bit.
“When you are a professional footballer, you want to play in those kind of stadiums and environments. Tomorrow is going to be a test of character, not only for me but for others and we have to deal with it.”