By Joe Brewin

Ryo admits he is happy to bide his time for a first-team opportunity while he adjusts to a “totally different level”.

The Japanese midfielder was plucked from high-school football only last year by Arsenal, before moving out on loan to Feyenoord in February.

Ryo proved a sensation in Holland, scoring three goals amid a string of eye-catching performances for the Eredivisie outfit.

Now back at Arsenal after securing a work permit in August, the 18-year-old says he is happy to be patient while he continues his footballing education.

“I am not in a rush,” said Ryo. “The manager advises me not to and to concentrate on training.

“The biggest change is that I train and play with these top players. I never imagined myself in this position a year ago when I was playing in the high school championship qualifiers in Japan.

“I can tell I am improving a lot through training sessions with my team-mates. I am also getting used to expressing myself to them without hesitation.

“I felt quite positive when I dribbled pass those international players in training sessions. I have confidence in myself to a certain extent as I train with these world-class footballers.”

“I was too shy and nervous when I first joined the team. Now I feel more settled living in this environment. Arsenal found an English teacher for me. I suppose I am improving, I can understand what the coaches say.”

Dubbed ‘Ryodinho’ during his spell at Feyenoord, it was not long before the Dutch club’s fans grew to adore him. It was another learning curve for the young winger, who says the experience was a worthwhile one.

“I was a bit more confident about what I was doing in Holland,” he said. “But the Premier League is on a totally different level. In England it is easy to lose the ball if your passing is loose. Being able to judge is crucial.

“I learned a lot about the importance of first touch. This is particularly important to my style of attacking.

“Arsène Wenger emphasises this and I want to focus more and more on it too. We have a lot of training in tight spaces which makes me concentrate on how to make most of my first touch.

“I also pay attention to Robin van Persie when he plays. He can release defenders with just one touch - he is so good at it.”

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10 Nov 2011