By Chris Harris
Emmanuel Frimpong has no doubt that he can strike up an understanding with Jack Wilshere in Arsenal's first team - because they've been team-mates for years.
The teenage duo have been ever-presents in pre-season, starting each of Arsenal's five friendlies so far. They were particularly impressive at the weekend when Arsenal drew with Milan and beat Celtic to win the Emirates Cup for the third time in four seasons.
Frimpong and Wilshere have different responsibilities - the former sits in a deeper midfield role while the latter has more license to attack - but they have plenty in common too. Both are 18 (Frimpong is just nine days younger) and both joined Arsenal at a very young age: Wilshere was nine, his team-mate was 11.
That's why Frimpong believes their partnership is bearing fruit, and he hopes they can reprise it soon.
"Yes it has been good playing alongside Jack," he told Arsenal.com.
"I have been playing alongside Jack since we were little but he has managed to get into the first team before me. But we understand each other's game well because we have been playing together for a number of years, so it has been nothing different [in pre-season] to be honest."
Frimpong's progress was checked by injury last season but he has enhanced his reputation this summer with a string of powerful performances. Now the Ghana-born midfielder has his sights set on more first-team football.
"Realistically now I would like to play in the Carling Cup games and then we will see what happens," he said.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 4 Aug 2010