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Arsenal boss Wenger lauds talent coming out of Asia

Arsenal take on German champions Borussia Dortmund in their opening Champions League match on Tuesday in Group F and Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is wary of is Dortmund's Japan star Shinji Kagawa. The 22 year old scored twice in Japan's 3-0 trouncing of South Korea in Sapporo last month in a friendly when he made his return to the national team.

The Frenchman said the talents of Kagawa and Arsenal's Japanese teenager Ryo Miyaichi reflects the growing strength of Asian football.

"Kagawa is a very mobile player, he is very clever, very creative and is very quick in the box and that is why he is a proven goal-scorer," said Wenger.

"Miyaichi is not here, he is just coming back from injury and is playing for the reserves on Tuesday at Bolton.

"But both are very interesting players, I think it just shows what is happening all over the world at the moment, the push of Asian football towards the top quality.

"We saw it at the World Cup last year where teams like Japan did very well, along with North and South Korea. Asian football is pushing hard.

"We were in China before the start of the season and we saw some very good young players there too."

Wenger has previously managed in Japan, having been in charge of Nagoya Grampus for 18 months during 1995-96, before moving to Arsenal.

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Dave Williams

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