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Frimpong makes Gunners return


Emmanuel Frimpong

Emmanuel Frimpong

Emmanuel Frimpong

Promising Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong made a welcome return from a serious knee injury in Tuesday night's reserves win over Sunderland.

The 19-year-old had featured alongside Jack Wilshere for the Gunners' pre-season matches, and produced impressive displays in the Emirates Cup against the AC Milan and Celtic. However, Frimpong then suffered cruciate knee ligament damage in training and was set for a frustrating extended spell on the sidelines.

Reserves manager Neil Banfield told www.arsenal.com: "It's great for Emmanuel, he was distraught after doing his knee. He was giving himself every opportunity for the manager to pick him [before his injury] and now he has got to get himself back to that level."

He added: "Emmanuel is coming back and playing which, at this moment in time, is the best thing."

England youth international Frimpong, who was born in Ghana and could yet go on to represent the Black Stars, came on for the final 22 minutes of the second-string's 4-2 win over Sunderland and could yet be back in first-team contention by the end of the campaign.

Veteran goalkeeper Jens Lehmann got another 90 minutes under his belt for the reserves as he looks to build up match sharpness.

Following the frustrating goalless draw against Blackburn, the destiny of the Barclays Premier League is now out of Arsenal's hands, trailing leaders Manchester United by seven points, albeit having played a match less ahead of their showdown at Emirates Stadium on May 1.

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Gunners boss Arsene Wenger was visibly down after Saturday's flat performance, and for the first time perhaps suggested his unwavering faith in the young side could have been misplaced.

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown feels some experienced heads may be needed in the summer.

Keown told www.Sport.co.uk: "Certain players have been disappointing and he needs to address the balance of the squad. It has been unusual to hear him questioning his squad's technical ability. It is unheard of for him to criticise the team like that in public - it is a change of stance and maybe one that will see a reaction. We will have to see."

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