JAUNTY Jeremie Frimpong has delivered some early Christmas cheer for the Celtic support.
The 19-year-old Dutch defender is on the fast track to success, but he has no intention of doing a runner from the eight-in-a-row champions.
Frimpong has made a sensational impact since joining the Hoops from Manchester City on an initial £350,000 outlay that will rise to £1million with add-ons. Neil Lennon handed him his debut and the fleet-footed right-back has hit the ground running.
The youngster has agreed a contract until June 2023 – and he admitted he is in no rush to go anywhere as he thrives on life at Parkhead.
BHOY RACER…Jeremie Frimpong in action.
Asked if he hankered for a return to the English top flight, Amsterdam-born Frimpong, speaking in the Sunday Mail, answered: “No, I’m at Celtic and this is where I’m staying. The fans love me and I love them, so I’m staying here.
“When I came here I wanted to win trophies and Celtic are the right team to do that with. I thought I’d have to wait a while. I didn’t think everything would happen this quick.
“But I always knew that one day I’d prove myself. I want to keep doing it for the fans and my team-mates.
“Obviously, the club brought in two experienced guys at right-back, so I thought I’d have to wait. But when you get your chance you have to take it.”
The teenage tearaway was introduced to the Hoops followers in the Betfred League Cup quarter-final against Partick Thistle in September and made a stunning first impression in a 5-0 triumph. He kept his place for the 5-2 semi-final win over Hibs and the manager had no hesitation in playing him in the Final earlier this month.
With Israeli international No.2 Hatem Abd Elhamed sidelined with a groin injury, it was a straight choice between Frimpong and on-loan Stoke City full-back Moritz Bauer for the silverware showdown with Steven Gerrard’s Ibrox outfit.
JUST CAPITAL…Jeremie Frimpong puts pressure on Hearts midfielder Loic Damour in the 2-0 win at Tynecastle last week.
The pacy Dutch ace got the nod – and hit the headlines for all the wrong reasons when he was red-carded shortly after Christopher Jullien’s 60th-minute winner.
He was found guilty of hauling back Alfredo Morelos and referee Willie Collum swiftly banished the Celtic kid and awarded a penalty-kick to the Govan side. Fraser Forster then produced yet another majestic save as he dived to his right to push away the Colombian’s attempt from 12 yards.
Afterwards, of course, the player’s new catchphrase got an airing during a TV interview and his “Oh my days” quote went viral online.
Frimpong said: “Last week I got sent a cup, a phone case and a t-shirt with ‘Oh my days’ on it!
“That’s just how I speak. Everyone who knows me is aware of that, but it’s just become a thing.
“A fan messaged me online and asked where he could send the stuff, so it arrived at the training ground. And as for the celebration against Hearts with Ryan Christie, it was him who came to me and said: ‘Let’s do the Raheem Sterling’.
“I wasn’t sure about it, but we did it so quickly. Hey, we’ve got some new ones coming up and they will be more fun, 100 per cent.”
Unlike his time in Manchester, he’s mobbed by Celtic fans whenever he’s out in Glasgow and Frimpong is taking it all in his stride. He added: “With my personality, everywhere I go, the atmosphere will be good.
“I’m good with people, in general.
“The captain here likes me, which is good. The whole team have been great with me. They put on the group chat recently that I was taking my driving test and they were going to put it up if I passed or failed!
READY FOR ACTION…Jeremie Frimpong in pre-match mode.
“So, when I passed, I was like: ‘Yes!’. I’m driving up to training now and living in Glasgow. Life is easier.
”I like to talk and I like their banter. The fans here are amazing.
“When I’m out in town, they’ll be like: ‘Oh, that’s Jeremie Frimpong’. So, I’ll stop and have a chat with them.
“They’ll ask me how I’m finding it here, but it’s all good. When I was walking around Manchester I could just mind my own business. Now, it’s like: ‘Jeremie, Jeremie’. It’s different, man, but it’s cool.”
Interesting choice of words from a youngster on a red-hot streak.