Around a week after the reports first emerged, Arsenal have confirmed that Ryo Miyaichi has joined Wigan Athletic on a season-long loan. According to a statement on the Arsenal website, Ryo “will be looking to build on the four-month loan spell he enjoyed with Bolton Wanderers at the end of last term” and hopes “to gain further first-team experience under Roberto Martinez.”
Speaking to reporters ahead of Japan’s friendly against Venezuela, Ryo said:
“Arsenal talked about wanting me to go to Wigan and get some playing time, and so I consider this to be an important year for me as a player. I want to leave results that people will notice.”
Although I am slightly disappointed that Ryo won’t be at the Emirates this season, Arsenal still have Podolski, Gervinho, Cazorla, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Arshavin; sending Miyaichi out on loan was probably the right decision given the wealth of talent ahead of him in the squad. This is probably one of the most important seasons in Ryo’s career. He needs to prove that he can play at a consistently high level in the Premier League week-in, week-out. I am sure that he is up for the challenge. No doubt we will watch him get more than a few goals and assists for Wigan and he will come back with a wealth of first-team experience.
Yesterday we reported that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was withdrawn from the England squad to face Italy because of a small ankle injury. However, Theo Walcott has now become the latest casualty of Arsenal’s 4-0 win over FC Koln (and the 4th player to withdraw from the England squad) because of a “slightly bruised thigh.” Daniel Sturridge and Joe Hart will also sit out the friendly match in Berne this evening.
A statement on the FA website says:
”Walcott reported with a slightly bruised thigh and was unable to train fully, so has returned to his club as a precaution.”
Injuries to Walcott and Oxlade-Chamberlain are the last thing that Arsenal need 3 days before the start of the new season. The good news is that Wenger’s investment in the squad will finally pay off. We have Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla who both play in the wide position against Sunderland. Hopefully a “bruised thigh” will not be enough to keep Walcott out on Saturday, while AOC’s ankle injury is said to be quite minor.