Ryo Miyaichi is one of Arsenal’s brightest talent and after he was signed in the summer of 2010 many touted him as a future first team member with the winger’s pace and ability to use both feet seen as his two key assets. When signed he had infact just broken his leg but had impressed so much whilst on trial Wenger decided to take the risk anyway,
A couple of weeks after he signed he was sent off to play for Feyenoord on loan where he impressed scoring 3 goals and getting 5 assists in 12 games. He was a big hit in Holland the press appreciated his humbleness with a key incident being Miyaichi coming out after his first home game and bowing to all four corners of the ground to thank them for their reaction to his debut. He had been dubbed “Ryodinho” and the “Japanese Messi” for his skill with the ball and ability to take on and beat his defender.
Over the summer Miyaichi was granted a work permit for his ” exceptional talent” a hearing which Wenger pushed greatly for and the Japanese FA helped achieve. Feyenoord came in again asking for him on loan but where rebuked as Wenger stated he had first team squad plans for Miyaichi. Unfortunately Miyaichi was persistently injured and his only first team action came as a substitute in the League Cup where he impressed and managed to get a youtube video about one of his sprints all the way down the pitch to close a ball down.
Citing Miyaichi’s need for game time Wenger decided to send him out on loan to Bolton in the January transfer window. He impressed as they tried to fight off relegation and was voted Bolton’s February player of the month and is remembered fondly for giving Chelsea a terrible time with his pace showing up Ivanovic and Cahill. He scored once against Millwall in the FA Cup and got 2 assists though from watching his games he would have had much more had Bolton had a decent striker.
This summer again Miyaichi returned to Arsenal but with the addition of Podolski another winger he has been sent on loan to Wigan where again injury has limited his chances to 5 appearances, 2 in the league cup, though he does have 2 assists to his name. Yet to start a League game for Miyaichi there is a need for him to get some serious game time to continue his development. He was offered a loan at Bolton but chose Wigan due to wanting Premier League game time. He should be good enough to break into the Wigan team but just needs to stay fit enough. If he manages to achieve a long first team run for Wigan he will return a fine player and ready for Arsenal by the end of the season but many questions surround Miyaichi including whether he can stay fit enough and if he is good enough.
With the almost inevitable aura sounding Walcott and his potential departure we know there will be a space in the squad for a winger and despite Miyaichi having much more experience he has been almost forgotten has Serge Gnabry has impressed with his pre-season and League Cup appearances. On paper Miyaichi should be miles ahead but away from home we don’t get to see his talent so much, especially if his playing time is limited, and thus Gnabry has the advantage. We all know how Wenger likes to promote from within and if/when Walcott leaves it will be interesting to see how Miyaichi and Gnabry battle it out for the posistion.
Both can play on other flank and are similar in there direct nature though Miyaichi is faster and Gnabry more physical, Arsenal and its fans are likely to be endowed for two such promising youngsters I just hope we can find a position in the squad for all of them.
So Gnabry or Miyaichi?
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