By Alex McLeish

12th Dec, 2020 | 11:00am

Exclusive: McLeish 'not surprised' by reported update on Frimpong leaving Celtic

Alex McLeish has insisted it is no surprise to hear Jeremie Frimpong linked with a move back to England after his “standout” performances at Celtic this season.

The former Rangers and Scotland boss, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, admitted he was not sure what to make of the promising full-back when he broke onto the scene but revealed he was delighted with what he has seen in recent weeks.

As reported by the Scottish Sun, several Championship clubs, as well as Premier League side Southampton, are keen on signing the 20-year-old after his meteoric rise at Parkhead.

The youngster, who joined the Bhoys from Manchester City in 2019, was initially seen as an under-23s prospect for the future but he quickly established himself as the club’s first-choice right-back.

McLeish believes that Frimpong’s marauding style of play, coupled with his impressive form, means it was inevitable he was going to catch the eye of other clubs.

McLeish told Football Insider: “It was hard to judge Jeremie Frimpong in the early days, I couldn’t decide if he was a full-back or a winger and he’s a bit of both, a bit of a kind of James Tavernier.

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“Certainly over the last two or three weeks, it’s almost like he took the game to the opposition as much as possible, even in games that Celtic have suffered recently.

“Frimpong seemed to stand out a wee bit and you have to admire his approach and his determination. Due to that kind of approach and the style of play that he’s got, if he’s linked with these clubs, he’s obviously doing something right.” 

Frimpong has started 18 times in 22 appearances this season as both a natural right-back and a right wing-back.

He has a total of 42 games, three goals and six assists under his belt for the Bhoys.

In other Celtic news, McLeish has suggested the real reason Neil Lennon has not ben sacked yet.