EXCLUSIVE: Frimpong a major Arsenal target as Arteta eyes defensive improvement

Steve Kay
Steve Kay
  • Updated: 6 Dec 2023 21:36 GMT
  • 3 min read
Jeremie Frimpong, Bayer Leverkusen, Arsenal, 2023/24
© ProShots

Arsenal have made Bayer Leverkusen right-back Jeremie Frimpong a major transfer target, FootballTransfers can exclusively reveal.

Although Arsenal are seeking to extend the contracts of versatile defenders Ben White and Takehiro Tomiyasu in the very near future, according to our sources, manager Mikel Arteta does not see either as a long-term first-choice right-back at the club.

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Having already signed Jurrien Timber to push Oleksandr Zinchenko in the left-back slot, Arteta is now seeking Frimpong on the opposite side of the defence.

Arteta had previously signalled his intent to change up the right-back position in the summer, when he pushed to sign Joao Cancelo from Manchester City. Talks took place between the clubs but no fee could be agreed.

Now he has turned his sights to Netherlands international Frimpong, who has spent over half his life in the UK.

Jeremie Frimpong in action for Leverkusen
© ProShots - Jeremie Frimpong in action for Leverkusen

He moved to England when he was seven and within two years was playing in the Manchester City academy, where he crossed paths with Jadon Sancho before the England winger moved to Borussia Dortmund.

Frimpong also had to depart the club to get first-team recognition, leaving for Celtic before a big-money move to Leverkusen.

Why Arsenal want Frimpong

Arteta and Edu have earmarked the 22-year-old as a specialist right-back, who can offer Arsenal more of an overlapping option while also being strong defensively. Furthermore, it is expected that he could fill a midfield role if required.

White and Tomiyasu have both played big roles this season in carrying Arsenal to the top of the Premier League and through in the Champions League. Arteta, though, has concerns about White’s defensive abilities while Tomiyasu has had persistent injury problems since arriving at the club from Bologna.

Aaron Ramsdale and Eddie Nketiah, who both recently signed new contracts with Arsenal, also seem likely to be moved on soon.

David Raya appears to have claimed the No.1 spot in goal, despite his errors against Luton on Tuesday, while Hale End boy Nketiah is set to leave as a new centre forward is expected to arrive at the Emirates Stadium during the January transfer window.

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