It’s been a whirlwind start to life in London for Takehiro Tomiyasu.

Landing in the UK last Wednesday off the back of a busy Interlull, during which he secured his £17 million move to Arsenal, the Japan international secured a work permit on Thursday and was immediately parachuted into the right-back slot for Saturday’s 1-0 win over Norwich.

Following an impressive and combative 62 minute debut, he left to a standing ovation from the Emirates crowd. Unsurprisingly, he’s feeling pretty chipper about things.

Conducting an interview in fluent English, Tomi told Arsenal.com: “I’m buzzing to be here because Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs in the world and to play in the Premier League was my big dream when I was young, so I’m happy to be here.

“I never imagined that I could play as a player of Arsenal, so I am excited. As I say, Arsenal is one of the biggest clubs in the world.”

On what he can bring to the team, he added: “I think I can play with both feet, I can play every position as a defender and I’m an intelligent player so I can always read the next situation.

“For me, it doesn’t matter [where I play] because the most important thing is to play in the game. If the coach told me to play striker, I’ll play striker. For me, it doesn’t matter which position I play.”

Arsenal’s men’s team has only ever had two other players from Japan – Junichi Inamoto and Ryo Miyaichi – and they only amassed 400 minutes of playing time between them.

While compatriots have featured in the Premier League over the years – most notably Shinji Okazaki for Leicester and Shinji Kagawa for Manchester United – the only countryman currently plying his trade in the English top-flight is Takumi Minamino at Liverpool.

“To play in the Premier League is difficult for Japanese players because the Premier League is so physical,” he said. “I think I’m ready to play in the Premier League.”

Tomi will certainly get the chance to prove that on Saturday when the Gunners head to Burnley.

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Dean

Here’s hoping that Tommy the tank can stay on track and build bridges with the fans. There’s a few positive signals and I’m finally starting to feel like there’s light at the end of the tunnel, provided we don’t go off the rails at Burnley. Sorry I’ve gone a bit above my station here and completely lost my train of thought but his first performance has me stoked

Ghost of Fabregas

10.0 for that one mate

Andy

Reminds me a bit of Bac.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

I remember saying after Ceballos’ debut that he reminded me of Santi. I’ll save any judgement until Saturday

Johnny 4 Hats

Anyone remember when Anthony Stokes scored a shit tonne of goals on loan at Falkirk and we were all like “Get him in the first team!”

Dunno why but I thought of that the other day and chuckled to myself.

I think someone mentioned Krystian Bielik and I started thinking of players we, as a fan base, were massively wrong to champion.

I hope Joe doesn’t turn out to be the same. Although I also hope he isn’t awesome. Sorry Joe.

God, I’m rambling now. As you were.

Aaron

Lol, by your standards, this is more ‘mumbling’ than anything else Johnny Boy..

It’s odd how Ceballos and Willian both had their best Arsenal performance on their debut.

Burnley on a Saturday will be a good game for Tomiyasu to get a feel for the physicality of the Premier League.

goonshow

Chance would be a fine thing!

Azeez Is Good

A fine thing indeed

mjc1892

Though I didnt really see it in how they played (thought Sagna just had this natural calmness about him while Tomi seems more hell for leather), I immediately thought how great it’d be to have that outball from the goal kick that we used so frequently with Sagna. Chuck him on the rw and let him beat the oppo lb to the ball. Very handy for relieving pressure.

Tapps

He seems like quite a tender chap – not in the least bit loco.

Brady’s bunch

I thought it was a panic buy initially but the small snippet we’ve seen he looks at home so no pressure but I hope he has a barnstormer in the north London derby 🙌😉

Pat Fried Rice with Egg

Got the puns but a tank with train puns certainty confused the hell outta me in the beginning

OneBeatOff

Top man! You are so welcome.

Azeez Is Good

I still can’t work out whether his signing was a long term strategic purchase or a short term panic buy. I mean, if we’d really wanted him from day one, he was available all summer. Bologna were not happy that it happened on the last day and he could’ve had a preseason with the squad. But his profile is good and the signing makes a lot of sense as regards his aerial ability. Either way, all that matters is how good he plays. But I’d be interested to see the shortlist of RB’s we had at the start of summer… Read more »

Steve

I think this might have more to do with the situation with Hector Bellerin.

Futsboller

Just because it happens late doesn’t mean it is panicky in nature. We often do deals at the end of the window because prices and obstacles come down.

Reports suggest we were very eager to bring in Emerson R from Barcelona and were sending Bellerin the other way, and our scout-analytics department favoured that move, but we hesitated and Arteta pushed for Tomi. He’ll have his ups and downs this season, but he looks to be an excellent signing.

mjc1892

Again early to say for sure, but based upon the afternoon Emerson Royal had against Zaha we’ve come out very much on top there. Horrible debut.

Clock End 20

Welcome to The Arsenal Tomi! God knows we needed you..!!

Daveo

Still believe Tomi and Sambi might be our signings of the Summer. Both look like astute purchases and the type of signings we should have been focussing on for years. Really excited by both players and hope they both big seasons and long Arsenal careers. The rest of them too. Seeing all these younger profilled signing is a breath of fresh air and then all of them bar Tavarez (he’s behind an incredible player, but it’s obvious already he’ll still get some games) has just brought so much interest and freshness and enthusiasm back. For the first time in a… Read more »

Futsboller

Nothing like having that threatening olive branch hanging over your head! 😉

I’d add Odegaard to the list of impressive signings this summer — we’re still sorting our way out of dysfunction on and off the pitch, but as we begin to gel and play the right way, MO is going to be in the spotlight and I think he’s going to shine for years to come.

A Different George

Does the League Cup match against Wimbledon count towards the 3-game suspension? If not, I am pretty confident Xhaka will not play against Spurs.

Daveo

It does.

Matthinc

🙁

Crash Fistfight

Yes, all very confusing these days. As it was red card it carries over into cup competitions (I think that is also the case in reverse). Suspensions through accumulation of yellows only apply within the competition in which the cards were accumulated.

Capitaine_Surcouf

Why can’t AMN have that d’attitude and mentality? “I’ll play anywhere the fish tells me to because playing is what’s important.”

In any case, WELCOME TOMI Love that we have a Blue Samurai at The Arsenal! Hope you’re mentality and work ethic spreads to some of our other players

Reiss Neverseen vs the DicTeta

I mean… Ainsley literally said the same thing (in different words) last season.

I like Tomi and I think he’s a good signing. Though I don’t know where this narrative of portraying AMN as stubborn comes from.

TOGooner

It’s definitely something that Arteta is stacking his team with players for whom the word intelligent keeps coming up in scouting (White, Lakonga, Tomi). Artetas system doesnt look particularly easy to coach so makes sense

Nainsley Aitland Miles

Tomiyasu does seem like a jolly good chapanese.

Wrighty’s hats

What is this? Some friendly non-racist banter/play on words? Can someone get me up to speed on how this isn’t incredibly offensive?

goonshow

Why is it rascist, ffs? He’s Japanese and he’s a chap. It’s a rather smart play on words, actually – lighten up man!!

Onenil

It’s a portmanteau word. Lewis Carroll was a fan of this kind of word play, as well as being a galumphing centre back in his youth.
ps I can see nothing racist about it.

Qwaliteee

John Lennon was a massive fan of word puns and, funnily enough, Lewis Carroll.

The Beatles’ ‘I Am The Walrus’ was inspired by ‘Alice’s Adventures Through The Looking Glass.’

Whilst ‘Yellow Submarine’ was inspired by that massive North Bank hit ‘We All Live In A Perry Groves World.’

Wrighty’s hats

I don’t take any pleasure in lecturing anyone about what is and isn’t a racist comment. Granted, sometimes it is in the eye of the beholder – maybe I’m the only one who is taking issue with this particular thing. I’m okay with that. I gathered that it was intended as a play on words given the general warmth with which Tomiyasu has been received since arriving and his kick-ass performance last weekend. But is it so inconvenient to say he’s a jolly good chap, and if his nationality is being referred to, is it so hard to just say… Read more »

The Beast

As someone that has no Japanese heritage, I would think it’s just logical to listen to someone that does when they say something may be offensive to Japanese ppl.

Instead, someone who’s presumably not Japanese, just calls you an idiot. Jesus.

Matthinc

I think it’s patronising and belittling. Tying someone’s nationality to a ‘joke’ is at the very least courting controversy, and for good reason. Because it’s commonly racist – it’s mocking someone’s race, somehow suggesting there’s something inferior or funny/weird about it. And that is the definition of racism: any idea that suggests one racial group is superior or inferior to another.

Cygan’sbaldspot

Idiot

Wrighty’s hats

I’ll take as many downvoted as I’m given, whatever, but I won’t apologise for being offended by something that offends me.

It’s weird even typing that out.

Also, (and I’m truly not trying to alienate anyone here because I enjoy discussing Arsenal matters with you all) is it so unbelievable that a play on words regarding nationality/race can be considered racist? I can’t be the only person who thinks that.

Further, the aspect of intent – surely people can understand that innocent intent doesn’t always make something not offensive?

ChickPEA

I really asked myself the question after your message, but still don’t think it might be racist.
As a French guy, would someone make a pun on the word ‘French’, I wouldn’t feel offended, as I don’t think it criticizes my culture or plays up stereotypes about French people.
But you’re of course perfectly entitled to decide what offends you.

😇🚗Zola

What you’ve said makes a lot of Frankincense.

Cycs

Perfectly put sir

Wrighty’s hats

I appreciate your considered point of view and for acknowledging that expressing what offends someone personally is something they are entitled to. Interestingly, it seems like a lot of people here were greatly offended by me being offended by something and saying so, which makes me scratch my head a bit – all I can gather from that is that people are sensitive to criticism, and are attached to a specific definition of what racism looks like. Fair enough and I hope we have all learned something from all of this (other than the fact I have a lot of… Read more »

Reiss Neverseen vs the DicTeta

Not entirely sure why this always seems to happen in articles where Tomiyasu is the subject. For instance, his announcement on Arseblog had some of the worst comments I’ve ever seen on this site.

Shouldn’t football fans of all people have a better understanding of what intent is. We’re always talking sending offs where there supposedly was no intention to harm the affected party. It’s basically the same premise.

Wrighty's hats

Reiss, my feeling is that it’s related to Arsenal not having had many Asian players over the years, and people being less accustomed to bantering/discussing such players. After a lot of work over recent years, acknowledgement across the board, and people individually challenging their assumptions and lack of understanding re the impact of race-related ‘wordplay’ or language with racist undertones towards Black people, it seems as though society as a whole is more adept at picking up on that kind of inappropriate use of language. It’s heartwarming that those things are now being called out more and more frequently –… Read more »

Nzini

So many sensitive people these days

Wrighty’s hats

I wrote a few posts below for anyone who feels like a longer read about why (from the point of view of someone who is Japanese) this sentence is inappropriate, but in short: If anyone takes anything away from this thread discussion, could it please be that wordplay is absolutely a great and clever thing to be cherished, but please just leave people’s nationalities, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, etc, out of it. Happy to discuss further if anyone would like. I would add as well that I truly take no pleasure in policing peoples’ language, but in this case… Read more »

Futsboller

Indeed. I think Arteta would like to get to the stage when he can watch more of the game from the comforts of a chair than shouting instructions from pitch-side: having committed intelligent players is the right way to go. Very Wenger.

Daveo

Not just intelligence, but also mobility, athleticism, character, technique, pace. I mean reading up on Tomiyasu alone he is praised for his work ethic (on and off the pitch – he had to be told to stop training so hard because he was wearing himself out), size (and aerial ability), pace and acceleration, two-footedness, technique, passing range. How often do you find all that in a defender? People saying he was a panic buy just need to look into this kid a bit more.

SarcasmB0T

And then he renews Xhaka’s contract and makes him captain when Auba is out.

He’s got no hair but we don’t care...

Already in love with this guy. Passion and pride to just want to help the team, regardless of where he’s told to play. Having him on the right and our future captain on the left is the start of a great back 4.
Certainly no chance of Tomi pulling an AMN on socials!

UGooner

Well on his way to being a fan favourite. And he’ll play anywhere, wouldn’t even say what, if any position he’s better at. Just every position as a defender. All the luck to him.

shokim

Really enjoyed Tomi’s debut performance. His flexibility will see him playing in many positions if he stays fit, knocks on wood. COYG!

Daveo

I think his aerial ability might work wonders for supporting White who based on stats a lone isn’t strong in the air. They might even switch a bit in game if a big forward is Bullying White too much. Tomi was fucking DOMINANT in the air last game. It was smashing!!

Wrighty’s hats

I kept chuckling every time he won an aerial duel because it was such a strange sight to see an Arsenal player do so over and over – I was trying to think of the last time I’d seen anyone in our team so strong at defensive headers. Maybe Per. Anyway, it was heartwarming to see and I agree that he’s a very welcome addition to our back line!!

Daveo

Me too…lol!! It was so fresh! He’s also not only tall, but he gets up. Everytime he was jumping WAY over the opponent. That was the really dominant part.

I love tomas rosicky

To be fair, Mustafi was also very good in aerial duels despite he’s average height.

Wrighty’s hats

Good point! Might have subconsciously overlooked him because of all of the weird things he would do to compromise our defence (apart from in a select number of solid performances). But he was good at aerial duels, I’ll give him that.

Daveo

He was Elite at blaming others for his errors.

Noni

Sagna. Every time an opponent used to close Szczeny down, his get out clause was to clip it to Sagna, who would win almost 100% of the headers (usually up against a winger). It was a perfect ploy to bypass when the press reached the keeper, and this is something we have struggled with in recent years.

I’m pretty sure Arteta was in that team, so maybe he had that in mind when signing Tomi?

Daveo

That was such a great out. Not a bad shout to talk about tomi the same way. Could be a very useful outlet

Wrighty's hats

Nice one. I miss Sagna.

Damo

Reminiscent of Sagna. Must admit his signing in defence is the one I am most excited about. Brings the balance that I think we need with White coming in. I am excited to see our starting defence develop together. New beginnings 🙂

Artitty

A bit of a shot across the bow at AMN, with that comment about willingness to play anywhere! Honestly, I like it. May your time with us bring stability to the team, Tomi!

jw1

Same thought crossed my mind immediately. Tomi probably would not be at Arsenal today– had AMN grabbed the RB spot with both hands two Summers ago.

Reiss Neverseen vs the DicTeta

I doubt “desire” would have made a difference to be honest. I mean ESR and Saliba seemed pretty eager to cement themselves in this team. It didn’t stop Ødegaard and White from being purchased.

The manager is dogmatic in his belief that he has to recruit externally to solve whatever squad issues he has.

In Arse We Trust

We don’t need you as a striker. Please just play your position. We have enough issues to deal with.

AusGunner
Qwaliteee

😂👍

ArsenesLongSufferingZipper

Bet every room lights up as soon as you step in.

Thierry Fußballgott

Seems like a humble, motivated young man

Jordan 23

This guy plays with his heart and soul. I like him alot. How refreshing to hear a player say he would play anywhere for the team, we all know a few players who speak of their desire to play in a more glamorous position yet don’t have the qualities to play there for us and should be grateful to be playing at all.

Rich

Tomiyasu should move centrally to partner Gabriel

Ben White should play as a right sided defensive midfielder in possession, and a right back out of possession

White is much quicker than I originally thought, and his passing against Norwich was impressive

Whichever way we decide to do it, I’m excited that we’ve added 2 young ball playing athletes, to the right side of our defence

Francesc

Tomiyasu>White>Ramsdale>Lokonga>Odegaard>Tavares
Descending order of excitement caused by each signing

BillyKrystal

Interesting order. I suspect most people would put Lokonga and Odegaard ahead of Ramsdale. I’m with you on Tomi but not as much on White/Ramsdale. I’d go

Tomiyasu>Lokonga>Odegaard>Tavares>White>Ramsdale

I love the signing of Tavares. I know we haven’t seen much, and maybe he’ll never develop into a first team player, but it’s such low risk and with his athleticism he has big potential. Tierney and Tavares, and Tomi and whoever his backup is seems like we finally have our full backs sorted out!

Daveo

Sambi>Tomi>Odegaard>Ramsdale>Tavares>White

But I factor in cost and value (bang-for-buck).

Rawbeendraw

Takuma Asano was also one of the japanese players we signed 😉

Matthinc

Love him already

Matt P

People tend to forget about Yoshida when talking about players in the premier league. Played more than 150 times for Southampton.

chepetin

Love this guy’s attitude

chepetin

Just a thought here for you all to ponder. We saw out of him on Saturday some good pace, the instinct to push the ball forward, either by carrying it or passing it, an ability to use both feet well, to be physical, to move the ball quickly, all while being defensively minded. By that last bit I mean thinking defense first. Add up all of these qualities. Isn’t that list what we are looking in a defensive midfielder? Can he partner Partey in certain matches? I wouldn’t mind seeing that actually. Thoughts?

SarcasmB0T

All right, I hate to be less than positive, but I’ll reserve my judgement on the team until we have at least three great performances to even out the three shit performances we’ve just had. Call me a stick in the mud, but I don’t think getting half the points available is a crazy ask for a club our size. As far as Tomiyasu is concerned – I’m still out. See, the Norwich game didn’t really answer any questions I have about our players. Look at what people are saying – Tomiyasu was great in the air! White was great… Read more »

Wrighty’s hats

Fair enough! Let’s take it week by week and see how they go. I don’t think anyone here thinks these new players are our saviours and going to take us all the way to the top overnight. I think a lot of people were pleased to see some strong performances and are holding onto that as positives to take forwards. I think cautiously optimistic is a pretty universal feeling here but happy to be corrected if that’s not the majority opinion. I genuinely wonder if you think anyone who says anything positive about Arsenal at the moment is being blindly… Read more »