Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong said the club’s fans can be excited about team-mate Jack Wilshere’s return to fitness.
The 20-year-old has been sidelined for 14 months with a series of problems but made his return, playing for over an hour in an Under-21 fixture against West Brom, alongside Frimpong, who was also making his comeback after seven months out with a serious knee injury.
Frimpong believes it is great news for not only the club’s fans, but the England national team too, that Wilshere is back on the pitch.
“He needs more games to get back fit and playing again,” Frimpong told reporters.
“I think the England fans and the Arsenal fans should be excited to see him back playing football.
“When you’re training with me every day you’re always going to come back with a few knocks so he’s used to that. I’ve given him a few testers so he’s tough.”
The two players switched positions in the second-half, with Wilshere occupying a deeper role in front of the back four before going off in the 62nd minute and Frimpong believes he can be happy with his contribution.
“He’s my best friend at the club and it’s only right because I’ve known him for 11 years,” he continued.
“I’m happy to be playing alongside him today and I feel the team did well even though we lost the game. We can take positives.
“Jack just wanted to get in the game more and who am I to tell him he can’t play where he wants.
“If he wants to play a bit deeper and get the ball that’s fine by me. I’m just happy to be playing anywhere and be running around.
“He never had a good touch so it’s not like he has it back. To be honest I thought he did well. After 14 months out he did very, very well. He can be pleased with his performance today.”
When it came to assessing his own performance, though, Frimpong was just happy to be out playing again after seeing his loan spell at Wolves last season cut short through injury.
“I was enjoying myself at Wolves,” Frimpong added.
“It’s annoying that every time I’m doing well with my football I get these little injuries but hopefully I can move on with my career now.”