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Aug 1, 2010

Gunners starlet impressed with Chamakh impact

Marouane Chamakh may have marked his Emirates Stadium debut with a neat finish on Saturday, but Arsenal midfielder Emmanuel Frimpong told Soccernet it is the Moroccan's physical presence that will give the team a dimension they have been lacking since the departure of Emmanuel Adebayor.

Emmanuel Frimpong interview

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Chamakh joined Arsenal on a free transfer from Bordeaux this summer and he has looked impressive during pre-season, with a purposeful display, and a well-taken goal, in a 1-1 against AC Milan in the Emirates Cup earning him the man-of-the-man honours on Saturday.

While Nicklas Bendtner possesses height and presence, the Dane has often operated in a wide position under Arsene Wenger so the signing of Chamakh heralds the arrival of the first out-and-out striker since Adebayor to give Arsenal the option of utilising a target man.

Frimpong certainly sees similarities between Chamakh and the man sold to Manchester City for £25 million last summer.

"That is the kind of player we need," Frimpong told Soccernet. "Since Adebayor went we haven't had anyone up front to hold up the ball and bring people into play and I think that's what Marouane likes doing and that's what he likes best.

"They [the new signings] have proved what good players they are. I think Laurent [Koscielny] looked good at the back and Marouane scored a good goal."

The Emirates Cup has also proved an excellent showcase for Frimpong, 18, who enjoyed an unexpected start against the vastly experienced Clarence Seedorf and Gennaro Gattuso on Saturday, following injuries to Alex Song, Denilson and Abou Diaby.

The holding midfielder is yet to make his first-team debut and despite impressing in a friendly against Barnet, did not expect to play a part against the highly respected Rossoneri, so much so that he even told his parents not to waste their time coming to the game.

But after showing real promise alongside fellow academy graduate Jack Wilshere, Frimpong will discover whether he will be farmed out on loan or brought into the first-team fold when he speaks with Arsene Wenger in the coming days.

"I've got a meeting with him next week and we are going to see what the plan is for the season," Frimpong said on Saturday. "I wasn't expecting to play, I told my parents not to come to today's game actually, I didn't think I was going to start. They watched it at home.

"It [pre-season] has been going well so far, but I just have to keep going and see how it goes. In all the games I've been playing I think I have done quite well and I'm just trying to take my opportunities and see how things go."

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