4th-choice Ryo set to leave Arsenal?

Ryo Miyaichi certainly needs an injury-free spell (nothing to do with witchcraft!) if he's going to establish himself at Arsenal.

Already this season, he's been out with a rib injury. Then more recently, he's had ankle problems. The ribs are a one-off, but his ankle issues are recurring and therefore worrying. However, as I've pointed out before, a certain Robin van Persie became a Robin reliant as he put his injury curses behind him. It was a long-haul trip but well worth the wait until he headed off to Old Trafford. Hopefully, Ryo will simply grow stronger and remain a loyal servant to Arsenal. He certainly has the attitude and skill to make it, so let's hope Lady Luck is on his side.

I've always thought that Serge Gnabry's emergence would signal the end for Ryo Miyaichi at Arsenal. Now the 18-year-old German is putting pen to paper on a new deal, so the older winger (I.e. Ryo) may have to take a back seat for much longer, if he wants to stay at the Emirates.

Ryo is undoubtedly the quicker of the two, as he is reportedly the second fastest man at Arsenal (only behind Theo Walcott when it comes to sprinting). But, and here comes the crucial statistic, Gnabry is younger and already a Premier League goalscorer. Not only that, Gnabry has a lower centre of gravity and is hard to knock off the ball. He appears to be more confident that Ryo and, possibly, hungrier to succeed.

Ryo's attitude is commendable and he always seems to put the team first, but he seems to suffer from 'nice guy syndrome': he's a gentleman to a fault. He's happy to celebrate Arsenal's goals from the bench because, in true Japanese fashion, he puts the team before his own interests. When he has a chance to shoot, he'd rather pass to a team-mate. That's why Ryo will only score when there's just one option: to shoot. |

Ryo's been conspicuous by his absence lately. He's not even on the bench. Perhaps he had one last chance to stake a claim against Chelsea. Was it make or break for him?

It hurts me to say it, but Ryo Miyaichi hasn't produced enough. However, it's not necessarily his fault. Playing in front of the still inexperienced Carl Jenkinson is not the best way to get a top performance from the Japan international winger. Jenkinson's a talented trier. He might even become England's number one right back one day. But that won't happen until he's ousted Bacary Sagna from the team. No time soon then.

This policy of playing youth with youth typifies what Arsene Wenger seems to stand for: lack of balance. Fill the midfield with creative midfielders. That will solve all. The only problem is, it doesn't. No Flamini means no result. No Arteta means the same. Those 2 midfielders are the only 2 that offer anything different.

Apart from the wingers, if you call them 'midfielders'. Right now, the pecking order is: 1) Theo, 2) Ox, 3) Gnabry and 4) Ryo.

Now we've been knocked out of the Capital One Cup I expect to see our 4th choice winger exit. Otherwise, he'll have to wait until January to stake a claim in the FA Cup. Ryo may have the patience of a saint, but he needs playing time to develop. He won't get it at Arsenal for a while, so it may be time to move again on loan, or possibly even permanently. It could have been so different if he'd scored around the 20th minute, when he beat Schwarzer to the ball. As the ball rolled netwards, it was cleared. It may have been a cruel twist of fate: so near and yet so far.

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