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African-born defensive midfielder will elect to play for his home country over England with the Black Stars' talisman proving to be an influential figure

Arsenal youngster Emmanuel Frimpong has revealed that Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien has helped influence his decision to play for the country of his birth rather than England.

The 19-year-old was born in Ghana but has represented England at youth levels, leaving him with an international selection dilemma, but the Blues midfielder appears to have bent his ear.

"When I was injured he called me to see how I am doing," he told Accra-based Citi FM. "Actually he was the first person to tell me to come and play for Ghana and it is up to me to think about it just as he told me."

Frimpong revealed that Essien has assured him that he can be successful with the Black Stars, with the Arsenal man going on to state his intention to play for the four-time African Cup of Nations winners.

“He has been telling me that playing for Ghana is a big opportunity for my career," he continued. "I have told so many people that even if God helps me to become one of the best midfielders in the world, I will play for Ghana."

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