Red Detective’s view: Thoughts on Ryo Miyaichi and Jan Vertonghen
Ryo Miyaichi could bring an X-factor to Arsenal’s attack next season if he is not sent out on loan. Polite, keen, irrepressibly determined and set to sell a vast number of shirts for the brand in Asia, his boyish looks will be a marketing dream. His direct runs taunt defenders whilst his courage on the ball mimics the style of a younger Andrei Arshavin.
He has an amazing attitude, exuberant smile and a bit of the George Best about him. Kicks, flying tackles and close marking do not seem to phase him in the way that other young players seem to get frustrated by. Bolton look an average and workman-like side this season, and without his unpredictability, bravery and raw pace they would be far worse off this year.
Next season he could be competing for a wide role against a combination of players like Podolski, Walcott, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Gervinho, and even Junior Hoilett or Salomon Kalou. Wenger will not want him overplayed whilst so young, and I suspect the Frenchman will want to develop him on the training pitch to ensure he does not get a serious injury in his youth.
The reaction of a lot of Arsenal fans who see our being linked to Jan Vertonghen seems to be ‘we do not need him’, but that is a mark of always having had a small pool of top players under Wenger, and fans not appreciating the magnitude of the club. Granted, Johan Djourou would need to move on – to Juventus if the rumours are accurate. Djourou would excel in the warmer climes of Turin, and playing at a more measured pace would not expose his concentration issues as much as England does.
Jan Vertonghen, meanwhile, may not set a game alight with flair – but is the kind of player that wins titles. A multi-positional athlete, technically adept at passing and tackling well; Manchester United would use him in the way they use Park and (previously) John O’Shea. Reliable, hardworking players that show the requisite aggression to control games against lower teams and the also the ability to dominate possession against better teams. Wenger tried to use Eboué as such a player but found his temperament unsuited to it. Ray Parlour might be an example of a more successful player who occupied the role towards the end of his Arsenal career, and Coquelin could be a more current one.
He has exceptional skills at intercepting passes, is two-footed and excellent on the ball. George Graham would probably play him alongside Alex Song in defensive midfield against teams like Stoke or Blackburn to strengthen the spine and dominate the aerial challenges. He. can strike free kicks and 30 hoarders every bit as well as Vermaelen too. In my view if Arsenal sign him, it is an indication of a progression in the foresight of the club’s management. Progression in terms of ambition and in understanding the necessity for squad depth.
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