Arsene Wenger has been impressed with Ryo Miyaichi’s performances during the tour of Asia and suggested the Japan international could remain with Arsenal this season rather than head out on another loan.
Having allowed Andrei Arshavin to leave the club and with Gervinho likely to follow, the Gunners are currently short on wide options with the boss revealing that the 20-year-old could be an option should he splash his transfer budget on other areas of the pitch.
Speaking to Arsenal.com after the 2-1 win over Urawa Red Diamonds, Wenger, as has often been the case while in Japan, reflected on Ryo’s development.
“Ryo has done well, you could see that he is finding his sharpness back. He was better here than in the other game [against Nagoya Grampus] and he is on the way up. He is fighting for his position like many players. I like his game.”
“I believe he is in a position where he needs to play to have a good chance of competing at the top level. At the moment he will stay in the squad. Should we buy more players I will have to reassess the situation. At the moment he will stay with us.”
After a long spell sidelined at Wigan his penalty against hometown side Nagoya and his cameo appearances in the rest of the fixtures will no doubt do Ryo’s confidence a lot of good. That being said you get the feeling a season of regular first team football is absolutely vital for him to take his game to the next level and that Arsene’s comments are mostly a polite attempt to give the local press a positive headline.
Another young talent, Serge Gnabry, was also on the receiving end of some warm words of encouragement.
“He was very good as well,” continued Wenger. “He is 17-years-old [actually 18] and he has a presence, power, good technique and can play on both sides. He is a very interesting, promising talent.”
All in all the Asia tour has been a roaring success both on and off the pitch. In addition to Ryo and Gnabry, the likes of Chupa Akpom and Gedion Zelalem have also acquired invaluable experience while the squad as a whole appear to have enjoyed the chance to bond.
The squad have already begun the long journey home and will likely be given a couple of days off to rest before turning their attentions to the Emirates Cup in eight days time.