Record holder Frimpong's dilemma: right-back or right winger?

There's a lot of talk about Jeremie Frimpong after a crucial goal from the right flank. As Bayer Leverkusen was on the verge of missing out on a historic record, it was almost a disaster for the German champions, until savior Frimpong stepped up. With a late goal against West Ham United, he preserved a record streak. But what is the right position for Frimpong?

Record holder Frimpong's dilemma: right-back or right winger?
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In a dramatic turn of events that underscores his critical role for Bayer Leverkusen, Dutch international Jeremie Frimpong scored a pivotal goal against West Ham United in the dying moments of the Europa League quarterfinals.

His goal not only secured Leverkusen a spot in the semifinals but also extended their impressive unbeaten streak in official competitions to 44 matches, surpassing the previous record set by Juventus between May 2011 and May 2012. This unbeaten run, which began after a loss to VfL Bochum on May 27, 2023, highlights Leverkusen's dominance, with the team winning 38 of those 44 matches.

Frimpong’s late-game heroics came after he was substituted on post-halftime by coach Xabi Alonso, a move that proved decisive. The sports magazine Kicker lauded Alonso’s timely intervention, highlighting his ability to adjust his team’s dynamics effectively during the match. Frimpong, primarily known as a right-back, was utilized in a more advanced right winger role against West Ham, where his pace and attacking prowess immediately made an impact. His ability to consistently find himself in threatening positions significantly improved Leverkusen's offensive play.

This adaptation raises ongoing questions about Frimpong's best position on the field. While traditionally a defender, his performance against West Ham showcases his versatility and potential to excel further up the pitch, providing Leverkusen with tactical flexibility. As the team continues to evolve under Alonso's guidance, Frimpong's role could become increasingly pivotal, not just in maintaining defensive solidity but also in enhancing their attacking threats.

This scenario underscores the strategic depth at Leverkusen's disposal and the critical decision-making of Alonso during high-stakes matches. Frimpong's adaptability and impact highlight his importance to the team and may lead to more permanent shifts in his positional responsibilities, depending on how Leverkusen aims to capitalize on their current form and tactical setups in future competitions.