By Rob Kelly
Emmanuel Frimpong admits that it is great to see Jack Wilshere with a smile on his face once again after he made his comeback for Arsenal Under-21s.
The England international has been out for 14 months with ankle and knee injuries, but played 63 minutes of Monday afternoon’s 1-0 defeat to West Brom.
Frimpong is recovering from a seven-month spell on the sidelines himself, and says he was delighted to be reunited with his “best friend” Wilshere on the pitch.
“I’m happy for him to be back playing with the team again and to see a smile on his face,” he said. “After 14 months out, he did very well and he can be pleased with his performance.
“When you’ve been out for so long, it’s only natural you’re going to be tired [afterwards]. He needs more games to get fit. I think the England and Arsenal fans should be excited to see him back again.
“He’s probably my best friend at the Club. It’s only right because I’ve known him for 11 years. I’m just happy to be playing alongside him and I thought the team did well even though we lost the game - we can take some positives.”
Frimpong admitted he had used his tough-tackling style to give Wilshere “a few tests” training, but insisted the other players had had no need to try to encourage him during his recovery.
“No, you didn’t have to give any encouragement,” he said. “Even though he’s a young player, Jack has got loads of international appearances and he’s like a senior player in the changing room.
“I don’t think we have to give him any motivation to play out here. No matter what game he’s playing, he’s always willing to give his best.”Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 1 Oct 2012