Ryo Miyaichi has spoken of the benefits of his loan spell with Wigan following his return to parent club Arsenal.
The Japan international moved to the DW Stadium on a season-long deal at the start of the campaign, but was forced to return to the Emirates Stadium after picking up an ankle injury.
And, despite having made just seven appearances in total for Wigan, Miyaichi says he is thankful for the opportunity.
“They have a good attitude and a good philosophy for football,” he told Arsenal’s official website. “The manager [Roberto Martinez] is a very good man and it was a very good experience for me.
“Most of the time I was injured. I couldn’t play a lot of games and I couldn’t show my quality. 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 expressed a desire to retain Miyaichi even after his season-ending injury, describing him as an “incredible” talent.
On those comments, the winger added: “It’s great to hear that and I’m so appreciative.”
Miyaichi also expressed determination to make a mark with Arsenal once he has completed his rehabilitation.
“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,” he said.
“My ankle is getting better so I’m comfortable at the moment. My target is to be there [on the Asia tour] so I think I can be fit in pre-season.”