Wednesday, June 19, 2024

“We don’t have another player like him” – Arteta lauds Tomiyasu

Mikel Arteta has praised Takehiro Tomiyasu as one of the best defenders he’s seen and says the 24-year-old’s versatility makes him unlike anyone else in the Arsenal squad.

Signed from Italian side Bologna on Transfer Deadline Day in 2021, Tomi became an instant hit with the supporters at Emirates Stadium after an impressive debut in a 1-0 win over Norwich City.

Playing at right-back, he became an integral part of Arteta’s defence in his first season but then suffered a series of injuries that hampered his progress.

Those fitness problems carried over into last season and hampered his preparations for the World Cup before a serious knee injury, suffered in March against Sporting Lisbon, killed his campaign and forced him to go under the knife.

Having benefitted from a full pre-season, it looks as though Tomiyasu is finally back to his best and that was underlined on Wednesday when he impressed at centre-back during the Carabao Cup victory at Brentford.

Ahead of Saturday’s game at Bournemouth, a match Tomiyasu could start with William Saliba nursing a knock, Arteta was full of warm words for the defender.

“I always said that I’m really confident that the moment Tomi has consistency, he’s going to be a tremendous asset for us. He already is.

“He can play in any position in the backline, any formation in the backline, we don’t have another player like him.

“At defending, he’s probably one of the best that I’ve seen in many situations. His concepts, his principles, the way he applies that, the way he goes into duels…now he needs a run of games so that physically he’s at his best.

“If physically, Tomi is at his best, we’re going to have a player that is so important for us.

“Especially the way he reads danger,” said Arteta when asked to detail what qualities he particularly likes about the Japan international.

“The way he resolves urgent situations with a lot of composure in the right way. His skill to defend, the way his body is built, it makes him a really complete player to do that. It’s really difficult to run past him. He’s always alert.

“It’s the way he’s been raised and educated. He’s always super focused and for a defender that’s a big, big attribute.”

It was once said by a buffoon on Sky Sports that Tomiyasu is, “not really a right-back, nor is he a central defender”. He was ridiculed but perhaps we were too quick to judge those comments. He’s not really a left-back either. He’s everything!

Keep it up, Tomi.

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Bill Hall

He is fantastic, a one man back four!

Left Testicle

An inverted one man back four!

Compañero de clan Arroz

MA recognizes all those qualities yet do not play him enough.


Our Big F*cking Japanese(BFJ)

Left Testicle

Or for those who don’t approve of swearing – he’s our BJ.


I love how football is so extreme and instant in both sense of lauding and killing a player – Tomi’s getting so many plaudits after one great game, but objectively speaking, there’ll be times this season where we’ll feel frustrated with him as full back with his very limited offensive threat or even progressive passing. He’s immense as a defender though, right up there with Saliba and Gabriel.


I actually think he’s pretty good offensively. Not “Zinchenko” good, but I remember seeing him running the flanks, and getting some decent crosses in. I *don’t* remember seeing a lot of him giving the ball away. I hear what you’re saying, but “his very limited offensive threat” .. that seems harsh. The famous Saka-White overlap (we’ve missed it a bit this year) – I could just as easily see Tomi doing that instead of Ben. He’s so solid, so disciplined, so hard-working, and seems to have hardly any “lapses of concentration” – I think in reality we’re just (for the… Read more »


Hopefully he starts in Salibas position tomorrow with White at RB.


Still hoping Saliba starts in Saliba’s position 🤞


with cl and city coming up, a further problem may rule him out for these more crucial games, let’s hope he has recovered well enough to play, but put him on the bench please


Could also say that about Cedric. We don’t have another player like him… his talent level is quite different to anyone else we have in the squad… thankfully

A Different George

His flexibility is extraordinary. I can see matches where (like City) we will want our back four to include four “natural” centre halves. White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu. (Timber in pre-season made it clear that Arteta was thinking this way.) Which matches? City, maybe Liverpool–especially if we have a lead–and when we need to hold our slim lead against Bayern in the Champions League final.

SLC Gooner

Great to have him back to full speed. While the slump at the end fo last season is often attributed to Saliba being out, the better explanation is that it was both Saliba and Tomi being out at the same time that really hurt.


That’s it.


Tomiyasu was looking like a very handy insurance policy. But him and Saliba getting injured at the same time was terrible timing…


Tomiyasu was looking like a very handy insurance policy. But him and Saliba getting injured at the same time was terrible timing.

Would have felt much more comfortable if we at least had Tomiyasu available during the run in…


From the day he first played for Arsenal you could see his qualities, but after seeing him play for Japan in the WC and other matches and his appearances at LB for us really made me amazed at his versatility, something is rarely seen today. I bet given some focus and experience he could be a quality defensive mid as well. He is so solid defensively and technically extremely capable as well. One of the few players (along with someone like Trossard) that watching them play you could struggle to tell if they were right footed or left footed. Timber’s… Read more »

The Hiro

🎶 We’ve got Takehiro
Takehiro Tomiyasu in our back line
He’s six foot two
From the Samurai Blue
And he’s always up for the fight 🎶

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