Will this Arsenal starlet play a key role in the relegation battle?

Ryo Miyaichi is nearing a return to action for Wigan Athletic. Can he help Roberto Martinez's side to safety?

Premier League teams have recently sent their young stars on loan spells at Dutch side Feyenoord in order for them to gain extra experience at a top level.

John Guidetti of Manchester City caught the most attention and plaudits for banging in the majority of the clubs goals that helped the Rotterdam side to a runner-up place in the Dutch league; their highest finish since finishing in the same position in 2001.

However the season before another Premier League loan import made waves in Rotterdam; Arsenal’s Japanese sensation Ryo Miyaichi. He helped galvanise a side that was struggling in the Eredivisie and earned the nickname ‘Ryodinho’ in homage to Brazilian legend Ronaldinho.

He later had an equally impressive spell on loan at Bolton Wanderers and this season he agreed a move to Wigan Athletic with the hope of him playing over 30 games in a season for the first time.

He impressed on his debut as a substitute against Nottingham Forest in the League Cup and even got an assist to his name and it looked like another piece of excellent loan business by The Lactics as in the previous case of Tom Cleverley.

However things have not worked out that way as the 20-year-old Japanese international has only made a handful of appearances at The DW since that debut due largely to injury.

He has suffered with a niggling ankle injury that has kept him out of action since November 17th; a game in which he was already returning from a previous groin ailment but he is now nearing a return. In fact he could be back for the game with Reading this weekend and he had this to say about an imminent return to first team football:

"It will be a big relief to get back because it has been quite a tough time to be sat on the side-lines, I want to be able to help the team in achieving safety in the Premier League and it will be great to show the supporters what I can do once I am back."

There are just 12 games left for Wigan to fight off relegation once again and they currently sit second-from-bottom of the league, three adrift of safety and the return of Miyaichi could prove vital.

His lightning pace is apparently more abundant than Arsenal team-mate Theo Walcott and with the likes of Callum McManaman impressing on FA Cup duty it may give Martinez some difficult choices to make in the fight for survival; choices that will define Wigan’s season.

Could this Arsenal man help Wigan survive the Premier League trapdoor?

image: © wonker

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch