After a nomadic career with Arsenal that saw him sent off on multiple loan spells, once-promising midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong is once again on the move, but this time it's for good.
According to Arsenal's official website, the 22-year-old native of Ghana has been sent to Barnsley on a permanent deal for an undisclosed fee.
Some might view the move as a major step down for Frimpong since Barnsley is a Championship team, but there is no question that he'll receive more consistent playing time and that he'll be a key piece to the puzzle, which wasn't the case at the Emirates Stadium.
Frimpong made 16 total appearances over the course of his career with the Gunners, failing to register a single goal during that time. He also played 17 total matches for Wolverhampton, Charlton Athletic and Fulham without finding the back of the net.
Will Arsenal regret selling Frimpong to Barnsley?
Frimpong clearly hasn't lived up to his immense potential, but a permanent change of scenery may be just what the doctor ordered. There was constant pressure on Frimpong to prove himself in order to earn playing time with Arsenal, but he no longer has to concern himself with that.
It is clear that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger's decision to keep Frimpong off the squad this season began to annoy Frimpong. According to Darren Lewis of Mirror Football, when asked why he hadn't been selected back in October, Frimpong said on Twitter:
"Sometimes I wish I was white and English. #realtalk."
Although Frimpong later deleted the tweet and claimed it wasn't related to being left out of the squad, Frimpong found it difficult to hide his frustration.
Frimpong's career at Arsenal started with such promise that it's difficult to believe it has come to this. Many originally assumed the deal would be a loan when it was first announced, such is the potential they believed him to possess. Jeremy Wilson of the Daily Telegraph even compared Frimpong to current Arsenal phenom Jack Wilshere.
Sad to think what' happened at #afc to Frimpong. Club need a midfielder, he looked similar potential to Wilshere aged 18 ...but off on loan— Jeremy Wilson (@JWTelegraph) January 31, 2014
While Wilshere has enjoyed an incredible amount of success with the Gunners, Frimpong is left to wonder what might have been.
A significant knee injury in 2010 and then another in 2012 certainly set Frimpong back, and he was simply never able to regain his footing regardless of where he played.
Now that Frimpong can finally start a new chapter in his career, perhaps now is the time for him to break through and realize his potential.
Frimpong is still young, and he has plenty of time to make it back to the EPL. Spending some time at Barnsley could be the best thing for him, as it could ultimately serve as a springboard or stepping stone to bigger and better things moving forward.
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