Having watched Ryo net from the penalty spot on his return to Japan, the local media, quite unsurprisingly, turned the spotlight on the performance of the 20-year-old in the aftermath of Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Nagoya Grampus.
The winger smashed home the Gunners second goal of the game from 12-yards after getting the go ahead on 26 minutes from regular taker Mikel Arteta and all in all cut a lively figure given his lack of playing time recently.
Speaking after the game, Arsene Wenger spoke positively about the Japan international’s efforts while putting his showing in context of his recent injury troubles.
“He is not completely ready physically,” Wenger is quoted as saying by Arsenal.com.
“He was not completely fit to play but it was a special occasion that I did not want him to miss. He just needs to come back to full fitness and then the rest will come along.
“His pace, his mobility and his movement off the ball. I like players who can move when others have the ball. There is also his attitude, commitment and desire. That is why I decided to keep him.”
Asked whether it had been planned before the game that Ryo would take a penalty, the boss underlined that captain Arteta made the call in the spur of the moment.
“It was not planned. When Ryo scored I thought it was a good decision from Arteta.”
A fun evening all round for Ryo who’ll hopefully take confidence from delivering the goods in front of an expectant crowd…even if the cynics are well within their rights to highlight the ‘special’ attention he’s been afforded by both his boss and captain.
The youngster will now be focused on making a similar impact in Friday’s friendly versus Urawa Red Diamonds before turning his attention to the possibility of a loan deal with Feyenoord on his return to Europe.