In the dying hours of the transfer window, Sky’s resident authority on who’s hot and who’s not, Kaveh Solhekol, dramatically introduced his phone to the gullible camera and captive audience keen for transfer news. Holding it up, he announced that he had received a text from an agent with no name declaring that Arsenal’s acquisition of Takehiro Tomiyasu wasn’t up to much. At which point there was laughter in the studio.
After arriving two days before the match with Norwich with only basic training under his belt, you expected the Japanese international to take his place on the bench. With a new country and league to navigate, new teammates and an awkward language to learn, one expected Tomiyasu to sit this one out. However, Mikel Arteta drafted the 22-year-old into his lineup with a hist of new faces and the Japanese showed that he’s more than ready to meet the challenge.
Obviously, he didn’t receive the memo about coasting for a season or relying on a host of excuses about ‘settling in’. No, no, Tomiyasu flew out of the blocks with energy and appetite, eager to please and make an impression and he was a whisker away from the perfect debut with a rocket of a shot aimed at the Norwich goal.
Arsenal fans, or the majority, took to him straight away because of his honesty, determination and effort and days later, he endeared himself by saying that wherever Arteta needed him is where he will play. It’s early days and we need to employ caution, but excuse me while I enjoy a degree of unexpected promise.
Indulge me as I purr at the prospect of White, Gabriel, Saliba, Tavares, Tomiyasu and Tierney. It even looks good as I write it. Tomiyasu had been on the radar of clubs home and abroad but was extremely keen to join Arsenal because of their past reputation and the names associated with the club.
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How sad that when his arrival looked imminent, we had to contend with a host of inappropriate comments on social media such as references to Kung Fu, Bruce Lee and even worse, the implication that his transfer was to encourage shirt sales.
This is the dreary, repugnant and repetitive side of the Arsenal fan base indulging in its usual and unsavoury pastime of acting as a collection of replica shirt-wearing gorillas in dunces hats. As for Tomiyasu, I look forward to what he brings to the season ahead.