Arsenal vs. Urawa Reds: 5 Things We Learned

James McNicholas@@jamesmcnicholasFeatured ColumnistJuly 26, 2013

Arsenal vs. Urawa Reds: 5 Things We Learned

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    Arsenal's tour of Asia came to a close with a 2-1 victory over Urawa Reds.

    Goals from Lukas Podolski and Chuba Akpom helped Arsenal secure their fourth consecutive victory of a successful preseason.

    Arsenal will now return to London to continue their preseason preparations.

    Go to the next slide to discover what we learnt from this clash. 

Ryo Miyaichi Is Set to Join the First Team

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    Ryo Miyaichi impressed again on a run-out in his native Japan.

    In fact, Miyaichi's latest preseason performance seems to have convinced Arsene Wenger to give him a chance in the first-team squad.

    Wenger told the club's official website:

    I believe he is in a position where he needs to play to have a good chance of competing at the top level. At the moment he will stay in the squad. Should we buy more players I will have to reassess the situation. At the moment he will stay with us.

    With The Daily Mail reporting that Gervinho is on the verge of a switch to Roma, Miyaichi could be set to inherit the Ivorian's place in the squad as a versatile, pacey attacker. 

Serge Gnabry Is Becoming a Contender

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    Serge Gnabry is a young man with a big future ahead of him. Wenger has selected Gnabry to start in three of Arsenal's four Asia tour matches, suggesting the German winger is moving up the pecking order just as swiftly as he glides past defenders.

    Speaking after this match against Urawa Reds, Wenger told the club's official website:

    He was very good. He is 17 years old and he has a presence, power, good technique and can play on both sides. He is a very interesting, promising talent.

    Gnabry's dribbling skills and powerful sprinting are reminiscent of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. The teenager could soon find himself competing with Oxlade-Chamberlain for a place on the first team. 

Theo Walcott Needs to Sharpen Up His Finishing

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    Theo Walcott was Arsenal's top scorer last season with 21 goals. However, in this game, his radar was clearly off.

    Walcott missed a succession of good chances, as Arsenal failed to put the Urawa Reds to the sword.

    Arsenal will hope that by the time the new season comes around, Walcott's finishing is poised and precise once again. 

Chuba Akpom Is a Prolific Prospect

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    Chuba Akpom will look back on his preseason tour with a huge deal of satisfaction.

    The teenage striker has scored four times in Asia. His latest strike was a calm, collected finish to ensure the Gunners emerged victorious over Urawa Reds.

    Akpom will know that other young English strikers, such as Sanchez Watt and Benik Afobe, have impressed without making a convincing breakthrough to the first team.

    Akpom's finessed finishing suggests he may have the talent to make the grade.

Japanese Fans Are Hugely Passionate

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    Arsenal might have been playing on another continent, but they will have felt right at home. The support from their Japanese fanbase was vocal and voracious.

    This tour has been an enormous success and has helped demonstrate Arsenal's global appeal. The Gunners will be welcomed back to Asia in the future, with an ever bigger support to call upon.

    Did you see the game? What were your conclusions? Let us know below.

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