BOLTON, ENGLAND - APRIL 21: Ryo Miyaichi of Bolton Wanderers reacts during the Barclays Premier League match between Bolton Wanderers and Swansea City at Reebok Stadium on April 21, 2012 in Bolton, England. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)
Ryo Miyaichi was a bright prospect for both Bolton Wanderers and Arsenal at the start of his loan spell following the January transfer window. The Japanese youngster impressed right from the start with his pace and quick feet, topping off a bright beginning with an FA Cup away goal at Millwall. While he looked another transfer coup for Owen Coyle, he faded thereafter and kept fading.
Reports have stated since season's end that Coyle would welcome Ryo back to the Reebok with open arms. New reports yesterday would lead you to believe that newly promoted Southampton want him as well. An opportunity in the Premier League may be too good an offer for the Arsenal to turn down when faced with the prospect of Owen Coyle's world-famous finishing school in the Championship.
For the first time in just about ever, Bolton Wanderers are spoiled for choice when it comes to wingers. The Trotters currently have Gregg Wylde, Chung-Yong Lee, Chris Eagles, and Martin Petrov on the books and are said to be looking for new blood abroad by chasing the likes of Modou Sougou.
Ryo on the other hand, while quick, became ridiculously predictable. When passed the ball on the wing, you could count on him to do a stepover, flick, and cut in the same direction about 95% of the time. For 2/3 of the last half of the season, the opposition left back had Miyaichi in his pocket.
That said, Ryo is naturally a left sided player that likes to cut right into the center. Owen Coyle was forced to play him out of position because Martin Petrov was absolutely tearing it up on the left wing last season. Moving or benching him would have been sacrilege. That wouldn't change next season as we still expect Petrov to be a driving force in this midfield.
The Championship may prove a good move for Ryo, however. Millwall couldn't hold him at all in the FA Cup. Ryo could simply run riot and add a few goals to his name. While we're not exactly chomping at the bit for him to come back, even more strength in depth would be nice.
Would you have Ryo back? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.