JEREMIE Frimpong’s enthusiasm is about as infectious this time of year as the flu. And every bit as likely to go viral.

A few short months ago the notion of a preview press conference for a potentially pivotal pre-Christmas trip to Tynecastle being hijacked by a teenager plucked for an initial £350,000 from Manchester City’s reserves without a single first team appearance to his name seemed unthinkable.

Now the little man – and his catchphrase ‘Oh my days’ – isn’t just on everybody’s lips, it is being monogrammed onto Christmas mugs and T-Shirts across the land.

The most talked about Dutchman at this club since Virgil van Dijk – his contribution having already eclipsed that of £3m man Derk Boerrigter – yesterday it was captain Scott Brown’s turn to eulogise the youngster who made such an impact – good then bad – as Celtic lifted the BetFred Cup a fortnight ago.

Now 34, if there was a wariness about Brown at first about the prospect of a supposed Premiership wonderkid coming up here shouting the odds and making demands for a first-team spot, such fears have proven to be well wide of the mark.

In fact, Brown has seen enough but the youngster’s attitude and work ethic already to know that he will never change – no matter how many compliments and man of the match awards are thrown in his direction.

For the record, Frimpong’s latest achievement off the field was passing his driving test. On it, with the L-plates already taken off, his career only seems likely to go into overdrive.

“He won’t change,” said Brown. “I think he’s been brought up properly. His mum and dad have done a great job with him.

“The way he is … he’s just passed his driving test at the 27th attempt … or was it the fourth?

“The lads have been giving him a wee bit of grief for that. But he takes everything in his stride. He’s happy as Larry. He comes in and puts a smile on all the lads’ faces.

“For the first couple of weeks he didn’t really speak with anybody. It was other people who were speaking to him. It’s not easy coming in here – especially from Man City. We thought a wee laddie coming in from Man City could have a big time attitude but he’s come in and been unbelievable.

“For me, you can see right away the wee man is genuine. He’s a lovely, lovely man and so is wee Robbo [Scott Robertson]. If you look at those two boys coming through, they are very humble.

“They appreciate playing in front of 60,000 fans. I’ve seen young kids come up here being big-time Charlies and swaggering around thinking they should be playing when they don’t do the hard work. But these two boys are grafting and working in the gym or on the field and putting the yards in. That’s what you have to do to become a top-quality player.

“Jeremie has that energy and that smile. There isn’t a single person who has a bad word to say about him. His interview after the cup final? It’s those small little things that shows he’s very humble and the lads appreciate that more than anything.”

All that is Frimpong the person. As for Frimpong the player, Brown quite simply can see “no catch”. Blessed with a sprinter’s pace, even the very quickest wingers our game has to offer just can’t get past him. Although one incident during the victory over Hibs on Sunday – Frimpong scored the opener – illustrated he might just be human after all.

“He’s just very, very good and is only going to get better,” said Brown. “He’s played against one of the best wingers in the league against Hibs on Sunday [Martin Boyle] and against Ryan Kent the other week and has shown how good and powerful he is going forward, but he can also defend and very smart for a young lad.

“He’s composed on the ball and in situations where you think he is going to lose the ball, he manages to pull out and gets his body in there to keep the ball. He goes to press people and doesn’t dive in like someone young and naive. He jockeys them and forces them down the line because he believes in his own pace and ability.

“He’s got the same attitude week in week out. He’s willing to work hard, do the yards and is up and down the field for 90 minutes.

“Sunday was the first time I’ve seen him go ‘I need a wee 10 second breather here’. He went all the way forward then chased Martin Boyle all the way back, I gave him the ball and he just stood and looked at me … as if to say ‘do I now need to go forward?’. It just shows you he’s human.”

Few have more cause to savour a trip to Tynecastle than Brown, who still lives in Edinburgh and has been running the gauntlet there since being spared a red card in a 2-0 defeat on his first visit, back in 2003. “I probably should have got sent off!” he recalls. “Against Elvis [Steven Pressley] I think it was. I smashed him a beauty and Hugh Dallas somehow let me away with it. I was already on a yellow.

“I love going to Tynecastle with the fans right on top of you,” he added. “You hear every single thing they say - it’s lovely. There is always a lot of them saying nice things about me. But that good atmosphere is what it’s all about.

“If I’m out in Edinburgh at the Christmas markets or something, I always get a bit of that friendly banter, depending on what the result is. I don’t want to give them the bragging rights.”