Injury forces Ghana's Emmanuel Frimpong to retire at 27

Emmanuel Frimpong in action for Wolverhampton Wanderers
Emmanuel Frimpong played in England for Arsenal, Wolves, Charlton, Fulham, Barnsley and won one cap for Ghana

Emmanuel Frimpong, 27, has been forced to retire early from professional football because of a persistent knee injury.

Born in Ghana, Frimpong represented England at youth level before switching allegiance and made his solitary appearance for the Black Stars against Sudan in 2013.

The midfielder, who started his career at Arsenal and made six senior appearances for the club, played extensively on loan in England before spells in Russia, Sweden and Cyprus.

"It is with great sadness I have decided to retire from professional football," Frimpong announced on Twitter.

"I have had problems with my knee for the last five years or so and have got back to playing at a professional level.

"But since November 2017 I haven't been in action as I had a tear in my knee ligament.

"I decided with my own will that I will not opt for the operation since I was not enjoying football playing through pain.

"I would love to thank all the clubs I have represented, Arsenal, Charlton, Barnsley, Fulham, Ufa, AFC Eskilstuna and Ermis for the love and support they have given and to the fans who always supported me. Thank you and let's see what the future holds.

"Spending time with my daughter and family the last year has made me realise I'm blessed."

Frimpong came through Arsenal's youth academy before loan spells in England with Wolves, Charlton, Fulham and Barnsley.

The Gunners took to Twitter to wish Frimpong the best: "Good luck in your retirement, @IAMFRIMPONG26 - and all the best for your next chapter."

West Ham midfielder Jack Wilshere looked back on their years spent playing together for Arsenal's junior teams: "From under 11's to first team...Frimmy it was a pleasure my friend! Good luck to you and your family in the future mate. Happy retirement."

Frimpong's loan club in 2012, Wolverhampton Wanderers, also wished him well: "All the best to @IAMFRIMPONG26 in your retirement, it was a pleasure to have you here back in 2012!"