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What to Expect From Arsenal’s New Japanese Defender Signed on Deadline Day on a Long Term Contract

Takehiro Tomiyasu

Arsenal have wrapped up a deadline day signing of Bologna F.C defender Takehiro Tomiyasu.

According to The Guardian, Arsenal have completed the signing of Takehiro Tomiyasu from Serie A outfit Bologna. The deal is expected to cost around €18m (£15.5m) plus bonuses, which is a fairly decent amount and might turn out to be a bargain in a few years.

Takehiro Tomiyasu
Image Obtained via Daily Cannon

The Japanese international is a versatile defender, he can play as a right-back as well as a centre-back to equal effect. He has been brought in to replace the outgoing Hector Bellerin, who joined Spanish side Real Betis on a season-long loan deal.

The 22-year-old has featured in 64 times for the Italian side across all competitions. In addition to his defensive skills, his presence also offers a goal threat to the opposition, having scored three goals and assisted a further three for the Serie A side.

His attacking numbers could have been better if Bologna were more adventurous going forward. The Rossoblù have scored just 51 and 52 goals in the past two campaigns. Which makes their mid-table status rational and justified.

Despite his young age, Takehiro Tomiyasu has made 23 appearances for the Japan national team. He is not short of experience and that would be a plus for Mikel Arteta. On the other end of the spectrum, the defender’s versatility is also what pleased the North London outfit to pursue a deal for the player, who’s been on their watch all summer.

Comfortable on the ball, tackling and crossing ability, defensive strength and aerial prowess are the major strengths of the Japanese defender. Arteta has a full-back in Kieran Tierney, who continuously makes lung-bursting runs into the opposition half across the whole 90 minutes.

While Tomiyasu might not be as good as Tierney attacking-wise, that might not matter to the Arsenal boss. Arteta prefers to play a 2-3-5 formation with the ball and 5-4-1 while defending. Looking at the former, the player can easily slot in as an “inverted fullback,” which will provide Arteta an additional player in the midfield area. That might prove to be extremely beneficial for Arsenal, who can avoid getting exposed from an opponent’s counterattack. Tomiyasu’s one-on-one ability might stand out at that point of time.

Tomiyasu went through his footballing education at La Masia and thus, is naturally well-adept with the ball at his feet

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In the latter formation, Takehiro Tomiyasu, who was in Barcelona’s La Masia academy as a teenager, can slot in beside Ben White. The Englishman’s presence aerially is little to none. But having the Bologna defender right beside him can offset some of his weaknesses.

It seems smart business from Arsenal in acquiring a player who was being targeted by clubs like Atalanta and Tottenham Hotspur. But only time will tell whether it turns out to be a successful one.

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