In January 2011, Arsenal completed the signing of unknown Japanese teenager Ryo Miyaichi. Youtube videos were flying around the forums of the youngster playing in the Japanese school leagues and showing his electric pace, but like many Youtube videos of young talent, was he really good enough to ply his trade at the top level in Europe? or was he just a money-spinner? Somebody to sell replica shirts in Asia, especially now as Arsenal and Arsene Wenger have decided to travel to the Far East in the summer to improve the ‘Arsenal brand’.
A loan move to struggling Dutch side Feyenoord has proved that Miyaichi is indeed a very talented footballer and his move to the Rotterdam side has seen an upturn in their fortunes, playing in a front three with other talented youngsters Luc Castaignos (who has agreed a summer move to Inter Milan) and Georginio Wijnaldum.
Ryo’s pace and trickery playing either side of the front three has caused mayhem for Dutch defences up and down the country bagging him three goals and many more assists. Many in the Dutch media have praised him for his brave performances and a bright future looks ahead for the youngster. His short term future remains uncertain though. Feyenoord understandably want to keep Ryo for another season while the Gunners may look to gain a work permit for him over the summer months, particularly if he represents Japan at the upcoming Copa America.
Ryo is the type of player that Arsene Wenger’s side needs, somebody with real pace who can play on the opposite flank to Theo Walcott, scaring the life out of opposition full backs. He has a good eye for goal and his creativity is unquestionable. Perhaps he may be the solution if Andrei Arshavin was to return to Russia in the summer. Ryo is of the same stature of the Russian and has all the ingredients to succeed with the Gunners.
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