Japanese teenage striker Ryo Miyaichi has vowed to become a Premier League success story as he gears up for his upcoming Arsenal debut.
"I am thrilled. The season has already begun and I want to join the team as soon as possible," the 18-year-old said as he left Tokyo for London after obtaining a visa allowing him to play for the Gunners. "I want to show I can make it in the top league. I want to produce results there. I want to score as many goals as possible," Miyaichi told Japanese media before his departure on Thursday.
Miyaichi signed a five-year deal with Arsenal in December when he was still a high school student. But he could not immediately obtain a work permit because he did not meet the Premier League requirement of playing in 75 percent of the senior national team's matches in the past two years.
He was loaned to the Rotterdam club Feyenoord and helped them stay in the Dutch first division last season by scoring three goals and setting up three others in 12 matches. His feat earned him the nickname 'Ryodinho' after the veteran Brazilian forward Ronaldinho.
Miyaichi was recently granted a British work permit on the grounds of being an "exceptional talent", Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger said. "He will play as a striker, right or left, he is a winger type and he is very keen," Wenger said last week, adding the Japanese striker "should be available" as early as Arsenal's second league match against Liverpool on Saturday.
"I have no worries. All I have to do is challenge," the fleet-footed Miyaichi said. "It would be great if I can emphasise my speed. I intend to produce results, either goals or assists. I am confident of that."
Miyaichi is the second Japanese footballer to have signed for the Gunners and he follows in the footsteps of former midfielder Junichi Inamoto, who spent one unsuccessful season at the club in the 2001/02 season.