After only his second appearance as a professional footballer, Feyenoord loanee Ryo Miyaichi is already showing signs of becoming a leading star of the future.
The 18-year-old Japanese winger was signed by Arsenal straight out of high school last month, after a number of glowing scout reports prompted Arsene Wenger to secure the services of ‘Ryodinho’ as he has been nicknamed in the Dutch press following comparisons with Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo.
Miyaichi was loaned to Feyenoord in a bid to gain some much needed first team experience and the exciting teenager is quickly becoming a cult hero at De Kuip after netting in the Dutch sides 2-1 victory over Heracles at the weekend.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Miyaichi beamed, “For me, it was a feeling of pure joy on the field and I am delighted to have scored my first goal for Feyenoord.
“It was a great feeling to have my name chanted by the supporters. I am honoured to be part of this team.”
A signing which may have at first raised a few eyebrows among the Arsenal faithful now looks to be another shrewd bit of business by Wenger, who has masterminded the rise of a number of the world’s hottest prospects and developed them into established Barclays Premier League stars.
Miyaichi is viewed as a long-term replacement for Arsenal’s Russian star Andrey Arshavin who has struggled for form at the Emirates this season, with some quarters calling for the midfield maestro to be dropped from the Gunners squad altogether.
Both players possess similar attributes with thrilling pace, exhilarating footwork, excellent close control as well as an eye for goal. Miyaichi however has one key advantage over Arshavin - youth.
With Arshavin having arguably passed the peak of his career, it is only a matter of time before the young Japanese sensation takes over the mantle as Arsenal’s first choice winger in the future.