Leverkusen's Wing-Back Wonders :Frimaldo | Sportsmonks
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Leverkusen’s Wing-Back Wonders :Frimaldo

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In the heart of Bayer Leverkusen’s resounding success this Bundesliga season are two unexpected stars, Jeremie Frimpong and Alejandro Grimaldo. Surpassing the goal and assist contributions of Bayern Munich’s Sané and Coman, these wing-backs, fondly termed ‘Frimaldo,’ are not just defensive stalwarts but prolific goal-scorers, keeping Leverkusen at the top of the league table.

In the ongoing Bundesliga campaign, Leverkusen’s defensive record stands second only to Bayern Munich. However, it’s the attacking prowess of ‘Frimaldo’ that has truly set them apart. Grimaldo, the summer acquisition from Benfica, has seamlessly integrated into Xabi Alonso’s system, contributing seven goals and four assists. His impact has been felt in every away game, showcasing remarkable consistency.

The statistics become even more impressive when compared to Bayern Munich legends ‘Robbery’ – Arjen Robben and Franck Ribery. ‘Frimaldo’ has outshone these iconic forwards in terms of goals scored in the opening 12 matches of a Bundesliga season. Their combined goal involvements of 20 (Grimaldo 11, Frimpong 9) dwarf the achievements of ‘Robbery’ during their illustrious careers.

Even in comparison to Liverpool’s formidable full-back duo, Andy Robertson and Trent Alexander-Arnold, who played pivotal roles in Liverpool’s 2019/20 Premier League-winning campaign, ‘Frimaldo’ exhibits a higher level of goal-scoring prowess. Robertson and Alexander-Arnold managed only seven goals combined throughout the entire season, emphasizing the remarkable attacking output of Leverkusen’s wing-back duo.

Alejandro Grimaldo, in particular, is enjoying a career-best season, surpassing his previous goal-scoring records. The 28-year-old Spaniard, who earned a well-deserved senior Spain debut after an impressive free-kick strike, has become an integral part of Leverkusen’s success. Xabi Alonso, Leverkusen’s manager, praises Grimaldo’s professionalism and predicts a national team call-up if the outstanding performances persist.

On the other flank, Jeremie Frimpong, a former Manchester City youth academy prospect, has also evolved into a goal-scoring machine. With a goal or assist approximately every 97 minutes this season, Frimpong has improved his end product, showcasing growth and development since his move from Celtic in January 2021. Xabi Alonso expresses full confidence in Frimpong’s potential, seeing a bright international future for the Dutch right wing-back.

As ‘Frimaldo’ continues to dazzle, Leverkusen’s attacking juggernaut remains unstoppable. Despite the departure of Moussa Diaby, Leverkusen has achieved a historic feat by scoring at least two goals in each of their 12 league games in the 2023/24 season, an unprecedented accomplishment in Bundesliga history. Grimaldo acknowledges the team’s impressive form but remains grounded, emphasizing the need to stay focused and take it one step at a time.

The unexpected brilliance of ‘Frimaldo’ has not only redefined the role of wing-backs but has also propelled Bayer Leverkusen into uncharted territory. With a promising future ahead and a season that promises more excitement, the Bundesliga is witnessing the emergence of two world-class wingers in disguise, Frimpong and Grimaldo.

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By- Sahiba Suri

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