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Goal.com Scouting Report: Arsenal target Ryo Miyaichi

Name: Ryo Miyaichi
Age: 17
Position: Forward
Nation: Japan
Club: Chukyodai Chuyko High School


Born in Okazaki, near Nagoya, Ryo Miyaichi will be 18 on December 14, 2010. A product of the Japanese High School soccer system, he hit the headlines worldwide for being praised by Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, the manager who has allegedly convinced him to sign for the Gunners.

During the summer of 2009, at the age of 16, Miyayichi visited Europe and played trial games with the Gunners and later with Ajax in The Netherlands. He impressed on both occasions, alas, during the tryout with the Amsterdam club, he was hit hard and suffered a double fracture to his leg.

Miyaichi has been often compared to Thierry Henry and Cristiano Ronaldo for his quick runs up the field, spiced-up by unpredictable feints and tricks with the ball.

While such comparisons are too often exaggerated, it is hard not to note similarities in the style of play and in the self-confidence boasted by the Portuguese superstar and the young Japanese.

Miyaichi has been summoned for Japanese national teams since the age of 13 and participated in the ill-fated adventure of the under-17s at the World Cup in Nigeria during an intense 2009.

In the tournament, Japan impressed at times, but lost three games out of three. Despite suffering a premature injury set-back, Miyaichi is now an integral part of the under-19 national team group.

Miyaichi is expected to sign a five-year deal with Arsenal as soon as he turns 18, and his full recovery from injury is expected by early 2011, when he will also graduate from school.

“Your home is here [at Arsenal,] get well soon and begin to learn English,” Arsene Wenger has told the hot prospect who enjoys great popularity in Japan, having guided Nagoya Grampus for a season and a half in the mid-90s.

Watch a video of Miyaichi in action: