By ESPNSTAR.com staff
Miyaichi is a bright young prospect at Arsenal and has been sent on loan to Wigan for the current season. The 19-year-old impressed in a similar loan stint with Bolton and has been earmarked as a rising Asian star in the Premier League.
The league has also welcomed another Japanese player in Shinji Kagawa, with the 23-year-old being signed by Manchester United in the summer transfer window. Kagawa has fared reasonably well with the Red Devils and has already netted his first goal for the club.
Miyaichi is happy that Japanese players are making their mark in the competitive league and paid tribute to Nakata and Inamoto as they were the pioneers who charted the path for aspiring Japanese footballers. Inamoto played for Fulham while Nakata featured for Bolton and the duo were among the first wave of Asian footballers to make the switch to Europe.
"In Japan there is a huge interest in Premier League football," Miyaichi told the Wigan Athletic website.
"Most of the games that are shown on television are from the Premier League, the people in Japan love it.
"I saw players like Junichi Inamoto and Hidetoshi Nakata both play in the Premier League and when I was young they were the role models that people in Japan could look up to.
"I would like to become a role model like they were when they played in England and it is a great thing that there are more Japanese players in the Premier League now."
Aside from Miyaichi and Kagawa, the Premier League also has two other Japanese footballers in Tadanari Lee and Maya Yoshida with Southampton.