Stunning rise of Frimpong, the former Celt made good at Bayer Leverkusen

Jeremie Frimpong

One Celtic player, Callum McGregor, will miss the Scotland game in Amsterdam on Thursday night. But a former Celtic man, Jeremie Frimpong, is one of the stand-out characters in the Dutch squad.

Frimpong is remembered in Scottish football for his remarkable energy. He did well, but in a Celtic team that was unravelling around him. This was the 10-in-a-row season that wasn’t. A time of Diego Laxalt and Shane Duffy, Albian Ajeti and Patryk Klimala.

The Dutchman’s last four games for Celtic featured a 1-0 loss to Rangers, a 1-1 draw with Hibs, and two draws against Livingston. His move to Bayer Leverkusen in January 2021 was a great deal all-round. Celtic commanded a big fee and the player arrived at a club with huge ambition.

In his second full season he scored nine goals. In his third - this season - he’s already on 11. Every time Frimpong scores, Leverkusen win.

He was capped for the first time last October, against France, and he’s a vital cog in one of the stories of European football - the rise and rise of Leverkusen to the top of the Bundesliga, 10 points clear of Bayern Munich. It’s one of the most dramatic times in the recent history of the German top flight.

Last month, Frimpong scored the third in a 3-0 victory over Bayern. He’s still only 23 and won’t turn 24 until December. The Frimpong we may see on Thursday night is a different character to the one we saw at Celtic. He was promising then. He has arrived now.