Ryo Miyaichi still can’t believe that he’s come as far as playing for Arsenal in such a short space of time, after the winger got his first piece of competitive action for the Gunners against Shrewsbury Town in the Carling Cup on Tuesday night.
The 18-year-old made the move from high school football to the Emirates at the beginning of the year, and spent the end of last season on loan at Feyenoord.
And, now Miyaichi has returned to the Gunners and is getting chances from Arsene Wenger, he admits to feeling both nervous and excited about his future at the north London club.
"It has been my dream to play on the Emirates pitch," he told the official Arsenal website.
"It's great and I am really happy. One year ago I was still in Japan and playing high school football. I didn't even think I would be playing here so it was a surprise. I was working hard and now I am here I have to keep my feet on the ground and try even harder."
Miyaichi came on in the 71st minute for Arsenal in the tie, and made an impact as the Gunners sealed a morale-boosting win. And the youngster said the reaction of the fans when he ran on to the pitch was key in improving his confidence during the game.
"It was a mixture of nervousness and being excited [before coming on]. I could hear the crowd before and then I got a bit more nervous,” he said.
"I could hear the calls and I was really happy. I wanted to respond by playing well and hopefully that can lead to the next step."
Miyaichi will be hoping he gets another chance to shine when Arsenal take on Bolton this Saturday at the Emirates, with the Japanese Under 19 international aiming for a regular first team place.