Japanese teenager Ryo Miyaichi has earned the respect of Bolton fans and manager Owen Colye since heading there on loan from Arsenal on the last day of the January transfer window. Miyaichi capped off an excellent February by being named Bolton’s player of the month by the club’s fans. He was also called up to the Japanese national team for Wednesday’s World Cup qualifier, but unfortunately didn’t get off the bench in a 1-0 loss to Uzbekistan.
The 19-year-old Miyaichi will spend the rest of the season with Bolton and he also impressed fans in Holland last season when he was loaned out to Feyenoord. In fact, he looked so good there he was nicknamed Ryodinho by the Dutch fans. Miyaichi made an immediate impression at Bolton by scoring in a fifth-round FA Cup win over Milwall and displaying some excellent ball skills with one of the English Premier League’s cellar dwellers.
If there was any disappointing news for the youngster it was that he didn’t get the chance to play for Japan even though the team desperately needed a goal against Uzbekistan. However, manager Alberto Zaccheroni had to replace defender Yuto Nagatomo with his final substitution after he was injured.
The young Gunner realizes he’s got a long and bright future ahead of him with the national team and said he enjoyed the atmosphere nonetheless. He said it has always been a dream of his to wear his country’s shirt and help them win a major football tournament.
When it comes to club competition, the skilled and speedy winger said the Premier League offers a high level of play and he enjoys being able to test himself against some of the top players and clubs in the world. He added that he’s enjoying himself everyday especially since he’s been given the chance to play on a regular basis and show the fans and his fellow players what he’s capable of doing on the pitch.
Miyaichi has been with Arsenal since January 2011, but was sent packing straight away to Holland where he got his feet wet with Feyenoord. He played in three games with Bolton in February, coming on as a substitute in a match against Wigan Athletic for his debut and then starting at Milwall and scoring in the Wanderers 2-0 win. He followed that up with his EPL start at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea. He also played the full 90 minutes in a 2-0 loss at Manchester City on March 3.
He was named Bolton’s top player for the month by the fans on the club’s Facebook site. He garnered more than half of the votes and was followed by Adam Bogdan and Mark Davies in the voting. He’s also impressed Coyle since arriving in Bolton due to his speed and the way he takes on defenders. The manager said Miyaichi has several strengths as a football player as he can play with both feet, has great pace and temperament, and also displays a lot of intelligence during games.
But while the Japanese youngster has quickly become one of Coyle’s best players, it doesn’t really bode too well for the club. They were in the same situation last season when Daniel Sturridge went on a scoring spree for the Wanderers. The trouble was, he was on loan also and had to be returned to Chelsea. Of course, before that Gunner Jack Wilshere also spent some time with Coyle’s squad. This shows the lack of depth and promise in Bolton’s squad and is cause for concern with the club’s fans.
Coyle recognized this and said there are a lot of great young players in the league, but most of them have been grabbed up already by the top clubs. He added that he’ll play anyone no matter how old they are as long as they’re good enough. This is great news for Miyaichi as it looks like he’ll be depended upon at Bolton to help them dig out of the relegation zone. He should gain a lot of confidence by playing regularly and will likely be able to bring it back with him to the Emirates in the summer. He’s got a lot of potential and hopefully he’ll be able to reach it in an Arsenal shirt.