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Rewind to Boxing Day 1963

Barclays Premier League
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Miyaichi: Wigan loan helped me mature

Arsenal midfielder Ryo Miyaichi has insisted his loan spell at Wigan has 'helped him grow up as a person', even though he only managed to make four substitute appearances for the Latics in the Premier League during his aborted season-long loan spell.

• Limbert: Fronting up
• Brown: Down to the last match

Japanese international Ryo, 20, who cut short his temporary stint at Wigan after picking up an ankle injury in their FA Cup win at Everton last month, says his lack of first-team action was frustrating for him.

Yet he seems convinced that his spell at Wigan was a worthwhile exercise, as he gained valuable experience with the team that will contest the FA Cup final against Manchester City at Wembley.

"Most of the time I was injured, so I couldn't play a lot of games and I couldn't show my quality," Ryo told the club's official website. "It was disappointing for me but I'm so appreciative to the Wigan supporters, the Wigan manager and the Wigan players. It was a very good experience.

"Being there helped me to grow up. As a person, I'm growing up every day. When I was at Wigan the training was very good and the people are very kind so I got some good experience there. I feel I'm improving but I need to keep working hard."

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez paid tribute to Ryo's attitude on his return to Arsenal and the winger took confidence from the plaudits that were flowing in his direction.

"The manager [Martinez] is a very good man and it was a very good experience for me," he added. "It's great to hear that comment and I'm so appreciative.

"I'm always ready to play for Arsenal. It's my dream to play for Arsenal. First of all, I have to recover as soon as possible. Then I want to show my quality when I get fit. My ankle is getting better so I'm comfortable at the moment. My target is to be fit in pre-season."

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