One to Watch - Ryo Miyaichi
Name: Ryo Miyaichi
Date of Birth: 14/12/1992
Former Clubs: Feyenoord, Arsenal
League Appearances (Goals): 15 (3)
International Appearances (Goals): 0 (0)
Ah, the old adage: 'on paper, we`ve got a much better team`. On paper, QPR should be sitting comfortably in mid-table with fellow promotion pals Norwich and Swansea, beating teams like Wolves and Blackburn with aplomb, and looking at a Bolton team with the belief that a 2-0 victory would be a disappointment. That piece of paper, however, is about as worthwhile as a bunch of unsightly, conceited Italians trying to run a football club, as QPR find themselves staring down the barrel of an immediate return to The Championship, looking back on depressing defeats to Wolves and Blackburn and the fearsome thought of facing Bolton Wanderers at the weekend. Sitting pretty at the top of that same piece of paper are Bolton; a team who have a distinctly average manager, average defence, average midfield and average attack. So much so, I had to select a 19 year old Japanese midfielder, who has made 15 first team appearances in his whole career and is about as familiar to me as a QPR clean sheet, as their star player. As I`ve alluded to though, that piece of paper is totally worthless and QPR would be naïve and foolish follow such a script.
Owen Coyle has taken Arsenal youngster Ryo Miyaichi on loan with the hope of unearthing another saviour, much like Jack Wilshere and Daniel Sturridge in previous seasons. The midfielder`s Bolton stay has started brightly; earning plaudits for his three Premier League appearances, grabbing a neat goal in their FA Cup tie against Millwall and earning Bolton`s February 'Player of the Month` award. Japanese success stories in the Premier League have been limited to say the least, but in 'Ryodinho`, Arsenal have a potential star and will be hoping his experience at Bolton will prove invaluable. No doubt QPR have compiled their scout reports on Bolton and Miyaichi, but it may be the unknown with the Japanese star that Bolton may utilise as their secret weapon.
Arsene Wenger was tipped off by a scout working for the Frenchman`s previous Japanese club Nagoya Grampus Eight, who informed him of an exciting winger playing for Chukyo High School. Ryo Miyaichi was already being courted by numerous clubs from Europe, but Wenger persuaded the youngster to come to London for a trial. Wenger didn`t sign the winger at first, but having suffered a severe injury during a trial at Ajax, the Arsenal manager came to the 19-year-olds rescue and offered him a professional contract.
He signed a five year deal with Arsenal, before being loaned to Dutch club Feyenoord due to work permit complications. He was drafted straight into the first team and finished his loan spell with three goals in 12 games and a number of assists. Feyenoord were insistent on taking the winger back on loan, but Wenger wanted to take a closer look at Miyaichi and having spent a successful 2011 pre-season with Arsenal he was eventually loaned to Bolton until the end of the 2011/2012 season.