Jeremie Frimpong’s speed was personified by the length of his spell at Celtic Park. Despite coming to Paradise from Manchester City as a rookie in August 2019, the ‘Flying Dutchman’ was sold to Bayer Leverkusen this summer for £11 million – £10.65 million more than Celtic bought him for.
He was arguably going to be the long-term replacement for Swedish stalwart Mikael Lustig, yet, as the COVID-19 pandemic raged on – alongside Celtic’s awful form – it was made pretty clear straight away by Neil Lennon that the more valuable of Celtic’s assets would be looking to move on and start afresh.
Frimpong was one of these. Fans may have seen Jeremie as a bit of an enigmatic character; the Amsterdam-born defender was only seen in the flesh 21 times by Celtic fans before the pandemic brought proceedings to a halt, and little did anyone know that by the time fans would be allowed into grounds again, the pacy fullback would have vanished from our shores and instead made a home is Westphalia. In such a short space of time, a new replacement was needed.
Jonjoe Kenny has filled the void, but it is only a temporary move; leaving the door open for another permanent fixture. And, according to Dutch news outlet Voetbal International, ADO Den Haag right-back Milan van Ewijk is the next man in the line to become the marauding right-back that Celtic fans pine to see.
van Ewijk, who is just three months older than Frimpong, has impressed in the former Dutch capital, making twelve appearances this season following his move from fellow Eredivisie side Excelsior in the summer.
“He doesn’t get distracted at all by the interest. Moreover, together we have drawn up a roadmap to make the best choices in his early but promising career. We stick to that.”
He would prove to be a much more financially viable option than Jonjoe Kenny – with Everton reportedly asking for around £10 million for the Liverpudlian, van Ewijk would more than likely cost just a fifth of the price. His contract is expiring in 2022, which has alerted second tier German sides Darmstadt and Hamburg, with Schalke also registering their interest; although the Gelsenkirchen club look destined for the drop also, thus making Celtic a very interesting option.
“At the moment, Milan is focusing on the relegation battle with ADO”, said his brilliantly named agent, Style de Jong. “He doesn’t get distracted at all by the interest. Moreover, together we have drawn up a roadmap to make the best choices in his early but promising career. We stick to that.”
A roadmap is all well and good, but with an obvious case study in Frimpong in which the young Dutchman has moved on to the riches of the Bundesliga, it wouldn’t be out of the question to see van Ewijk join the Celts to try and emulate his companion.