Dutch U21 international and Bayer Leverkusen right-back starlet Jeremie Frimpong could be singing a different national anthem by the time hostilities commence at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar as the 21-year-old has drawn serious interest from the Ghana FA according to insider Fabrizio Romano.
Though born in Amsterdam, Frimpong has international eligibility for the African giants through direct lineage from his parents and Ghana is now said to be pushing to convince him to switch allegiances in time to be able to feature in Otto Addo’s squad that was drawn in Group H along with Portugal, Uruguay, and South Korea.
Frimpong has come on leaps and bounds after nine years in the academy setup at Manchester City before he shone during one-and-a-half years at Celtic which prompted Leverkusen to swoop in during the January transfer window in the 2020-21 season and secure his services for €11m on a four-and-a-half year contract.
Since then, Frimpong has made 57 appearances for Die Werkself while scoring four goals and adding thirteen assists along the way, but would potentially struggle for regular call-ups in a deep national team pool that the Dutch national team can call upon.
In stark contrast, Ghana is in the midst of preparing for the next generation to take over under Addo and is beginning to tap into players that are 23 and younger, including many like Frimpong that are European-born.
Ghana has already convinced Tariq Lamptey to switch allegiances to Ghana this year and the Brighton right-back made his national team debut against Brazil last night in their 3-0 loss in Le Havre.
Additionally, the likes of Athletic Club star Iñaki Williams, Antoine Semenyo, Ransford-Yeboah Königsdörffer, Elisha Owusu, Stephan Ambrosius, Joe Wollacott, Tariqe Fosu, and Emmanuel Gyasi have all recently been brought into the Black Stars camp.
Moreover, both Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah and Chelsea’s Callum Hudson-Odoi are two other more high-profile names that the FA is working feverishly on to make available for possible selection, with the English-born pair - like Lamptey - likely to never be included in the England setup given their lack of regular first-choice minutes at club level in the Premier League.
With Ghana winning just one of their last-twelve fixtures (1-5-6) in a disappointing run of form this calendar year, which included a 2-1 friendly loss to Qatar and a shock 3-2 loss to Comoros at AFCON 2021 that saw them fail to get out of the group stage, changes aplenty seem necessary if the national team program is to not only avoid embarrassment in Qatar but to get back on the front foot in the African federation.