Will Emmanuel Frimpong play senior international football for England or Ghana?
It’s a 50-50 call. Since he emerged as a teenager, the talented Arsenal youngster has been in two minds as to which country to represent and switched allegiance on a regular basis.
Frimpong was born in Accra, Ghana but moved to London with his family when he was young and was snapped up by Arsenal’s youth programme when he was just nine. He played for England at under-16 level in 2007, representing the team in the Montaigu Turnament where he scored the only goal in a March, 2008 1-0 victory against Germany.
A year later, however, he switched allegiance to Ghana telling the Press: “I have always said that, no matter what, I will always play for Ghana because at the end of the day, from what I believe, I am a Ghanaian.”
A year later, however, in August, 2010, he did a U turn and returned to the England fold when he was selected for the under-19 squad to face Slovakia. He was forced to withdraw from the match because of an injury to his anterior cruciate ligament which kept him out of the game until 2011.
By the time he returned to fitness, however, Frimpong had experienced another change of heart. Once more he publicly proclaimed his allegiance to Ghana saying this time: “I have always told my family that if Ghana calls me, I will personally ride my own bicycle from England to Ghana.”
In August 2011 he was called up by the senior Ghana squad to play in a friendly against Nigeria, but the game was called off and re-scheduled for October 2011.
It remains to be seen whether Frimpong’s impressive early season form with Arsenal in the Premier League will produce another twist in the tale and draw an invitation to play for the senior England team before that match. If it does, Frimpong will have to make a final, irrevocable choice between the country of his birth and the country in which he grew up and rose to footballing fame.
So, as I say, it’s a 50-50 call, with the smart money