If Ryo Miyaichi is to establish himself as the Premier League's first Japanese superstar, he will have taken a long and difficult road to get there.
After 12 months of almost continuous injury anguish that robbed him of the essential first team experience he needed while on loan at Wigan, it looks, finally, as though he may start to fulfill his Eastern promise.
The 20-year-old, playing up front instead of on his natural left wing berth, proved the inspiration for Arsenal's hard-fought victory over Wolves at the Emirates, scoring one and setting up another.
Winner: Austin Lipman scores the winning goal as Arsenal beat Wolves 2-1 at the Emirates
Influential: Ryo Miyaichi impressed for the Gunners, scoring their opener
Arsenal: Damian Martinez, Hector Bellerin, Semi Ajayi, Stefan O'Connor, Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill, Ainsley Maitland-Miles, Nico Yennaris (Austin Lipman 64), Thomas Eisfeld, Glen Kamara, Anthony Jeffrey (Daniel Boateng 64), Ryo Miyaichi.
Subs not used: Deyan Iliev, Alex Iwobi, Renny Smith.
Scorer: Miyaichi 19, Lipman 68.
Wolves: Jon Flatt, Kristian Kostrna, Michael Ihiekwe, Jamie Tank, Jordan Cranston, Eusebio Bancessi (Ben O'Hanlon 75), Tim Jakobsson, David Edwards, Robbie Parry (James Kellerman 63), David Moli (Ibrahim Keita 56), Sam Whittall.
Subs not used: Scott Dalton, Declan Weeks.
Scorer: Jakobsson 45.
Ref: Simon Knapp
He showed good instincts to gamble on Wolves keeper Jon Flatt flapping at Thomas Eisfeld's 19th-minute corner, and, when Semi Ajayi knocked the ball down, he turned it home with a swing of the right foot.
And when confronted with a retreating Wolves rearguard with 20 minutes to play, he had the presence of mind to advance and square the ball to Austin Lipman to finish.
It continued Lipman's good form, as he scored twice in the 4-1 UEFA Youth League win over Napoli last week.
This season more than any other, Miyaichi has enjoyed exposure to Arsene Wenger's first team, making lively cameos against Fenerbahce in the Champions League and starting at West Brom in the Capital One Cup.
It marks a contrast from his time in Wigan, where groin, ankle and knee problems forced him to sit on the sidelines.
His work rate is high and his touch is fine but there are still facets of his game that need sharpening. Late in the first half, for example, he was picked out by a delightful lobbed ball from the back. He'd managed to stay onside but lacked the pace to get on to a very reachable ball.
There were a number of changes in the Arsenal line-up as Steve Gatting rotated his team to accommodate the demands of the Youth League on the player pool. Consequently, Chuba Akpom, Serge Gnabry, Kristoffer Olsson and Isaac Hayden were among those given the night off.
It was Wolves, four places above the Gunners in the table at the start of the night, who started the better and David Moli was visibly frustrated when he deflected a Sam Whittall shot past goalkeeper Damien Martinez, only to see the offside flag raised.
Watching on: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger was at the match to watch the progress of his young players
Gradually, Arsenal settled and Ainsley Maitland-Niles spun and played in the rapid Anthony Jeffrey with a nice through ball. The winger rather poked at the shot though and it went wide.
Moments later, they were celebrating when Miyaichi pounced, though the goal owed much to the goalkeeper's misjudgment of the deep Eisfeld corner kick.
The visitors were certainly capable of playing Arsenal at their own game and showed some neat short-range passing throughout.
Midfielder David Edwards was their chief threat through the centre though he should have done better on 27 minutes when the Arsenal defence backed off. Ignoring the run of Whittall, he shot high and wide.
Arsenal had chances to extend their lead as they found plenty of space down the right. Hector Bellerin needs no second invitation to bomb forward and he cut back to Maitland-Niles, whose effort was blocked.
Tussle: Arsenal's Hector Bellerin rides a challenge from Robbie Parry
Miyaichi then got into the same position and crossed to Eisfeld, whose shot wrong-footed Flatt before deflecting agonisingly wide off a defender.
But just as it looked like Wolves would capitulate, they found some attacking verve and grabbed an equaliser a minute before half-time when Tim Jakobsson arrive unmarked in the box to head in Kristian Kostrna's right-wing cross.
There had been an unheeded warning sign a couple of minutes before that when Edwards forced Martinez into an excellent save with a curled effort that looked destined for the far corner. The goal was the least they deserved in an even first period.
But the Midlanders couldn't keep it going after the break and it became a matter of time before Arsenal scored again.
Miyaichi provided the spark, running and running as Kostrna backed off and then picking out Lipman, who made no mistake from 12 yards. Lipman had only come on five minutes earlier.
He forced Flatt into a save in the last 10 minutes too when Bellerin set him up, while Eisfeld fired over from a decent position.