Jeremie Frimpong will return to Parkhead for the first time since joining Bayer Leverkusen from Celtic on Thursday and has told the Daily Record he wants to silence the home crowd.
The right-back shone in Glasgow during his 16-months with the Hoops to become a fans’ favourite. But left in January for £11m as the chance to join one of the Bundesliga’s biggest clubs was simply too good of an opportunity for him to turn down.
Frimpong has been a mainstay of Gerardo Seoane’s plans at the BayArena this season after starting all eight fixtures. He has also provided two assists in six Bundesliga outings and two in Die Werkself’s 2-1 win over Ferencvaros.
Frimpong expects intense Celtic atmosphere
Frimpong expects Celtic fans to create an intense atmosphere when Bayer Leverkusen visit Parkhead in the Europa League on Thursday.
He knows first-hand what the Bhoys fanbase are capable of from his time in Glasgow. But is not planning on creating any more fond memories for those in the stands.
“It will be nice to return to a stadium where I have had success,” Frimpong said. “But now I return to win, not to play for Celtic, but to try and win against them.
“We know the atmosphere the fans will create. I know that better than anybody. But we just have to focus and play as we know we can.”
Leverkusen transfer simply too good to refuse
Speaking ahead of Bayer Leverkusen’s trip to Celtic, Frimpong added that his decision to leave Parkhead was not planned. But rather an opportunity that appeared out of the blue and was simply too good to refuse.
“I was not looking to leave Celtic,” Frimpong added. “When the chance came to join Leverkusen, it was not something I was actively looking to do. I was happy with my teammates, happy with the fans.
“The Bundesliga is one of the top three leagues in Europe and when you get that chance, it was impossible to say no. I didn’t know of their interest in me, it was a shock. But the chance to play for one of the best clubs in Germany was not something I could turn down.”
Celtic certainly got their money out of Frimpong’s farewell, with Leverkusen paying £11m on a player they signed for £300k. The 20-year-old enjoying a prosperous stint in North Rhine-Westphalia could yet return more profit, too, through potential add-on clauses.
But the Hoops will not want to see him offer a creative option from full-back on Thursday.