Bayer Leverkusen star Jeremie Frimpong excited to face former club Celtic after claiming he never wanted to leave Parkhead

The 20-year-old defender is expecting a warm reception from the Hoops support tonight

Jeremie Frimpong is looking forward to facing his former club Celtic in the Europa League this evening after insisting he never wanted to leave the club in the first place.

The pacey right-back left the Hoops in a surprise £11.8million January move to Bundesliga big-guns Bayer Leverkusen in January, bringing an end to his 18-month spell with the Parkhead club.

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Ex-Celtic boss Neil Lennon stated at the time that Frimpong had made it clear to him that he wanted to leave but the 20-year-old has denied those claims.

The Dutchman has since gone on to make 16 league appearances for the German outfit and has started in all eight games he has featured in this season.

He told the Daily Record: “It will be nice to return to a stadium where I have had success but now I return to win not to play for Celtic but to try and win against them.

“We know the atmosphere the fans will create. I think that better than anybody – but we just have to focus and play as we know we can.

“I was not looking to leave Celtic, when the chance came to join Leverkusen it was not something I was actively looking to do.

“I was happy with my team-mates. Happy with the fans.

“The Bundesliga is one of the top three leagues in Europe and when you get that chance it was impossible for me to say no.

“I didn’t know of their interest in me. It was a shock – but the chance to play for one of the best clubs in Germany was not something I could turn down.”

Frimpong admits his move to Bayer Leverkusen has taken his game to another level, but he is still expecting a warm reception when he steps on the pitch tonight.

He added: “It’s really amazing to be back. When I was in the car coming here, I was just looking at the streets and remembering it all.

“When I see the stadium again, the inside, it’s really amazing to be back, really nice. I told my team-mates if the atmosphere’s full then it’s crazy, they should be expecting it.

“Of course, I am here for one job and that’s to beat Celtic, so I’m going to give it all for my team.

“I’ll probably get a good reception. Obviously, me and the fans had a great relationship. I never got the chance to say goodbye face to face.”