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Why Tomiyasu, returning from the Asian Cup, is like a new signing for Arsenal

By on February 4, 2024

Takehiro Tomiyasu Japan

Arsenal may not have made any signings in the winter transfer window, but Takehiro Tomiyasu will undoubtedly return to the Emirates like a new signing.

For the past month, the defender has been away with the Japan national team competing in the Asian Games. But he’s now heading back to North London to link-up with Arsenal again.

Tomiyasu who struggled with injuries throughout last season, has proven to be a valuable asset to Arteta’s project this season. His ability to play anywhere on defence has proven beneficial. So far this season, he’s played as a right-back, a left-back, a right-sided central defender, and, while not for Arsenal, he’s played as a right-sided central defender for Japan in the Asian Games.

The ex-Bologna man, who Arsenal signed for £19.8 million as per Sky Sports, has excelled every time he’s been on the pitch this season. It’s worth noting that he is the other Gunner who’s shown he can play the inverted left back role; other left back options, Jakub Kiwior and Kieran Tierney, have tried at left back but haven’t really been able to play that role.

Why is Tomiyasu returning soon?

On Saturday, the Japanese national team was ousted from the Asian Games after a 2-1 loss to Iran in the quarterfinals. With their time in the competition done, I’m sure most Japanese players are ready to return to their clubs and participate in club football. So, Arsenal expect Tomiyasu back over the coming days and he should be in contention for the game against West Ham next weekend.

The 24-year-old will return to the Emirates like a fresh signing, providing Mikel Arteta with a defensive alternative that he hasn’t had in recent weeks. The Arsenal boss has had to plan without him, hoping that an injury does not strike his defence when one of his reliable defensive backups is unavailable.

Now, he (Arteta) can rest easier knowing that he has a player who can step up in his defence when needed, whether due to an injury or squad rotation. So it makes sense for Gooners to look at Tomiyasu and think, “He’s like a new signing.” It is no secret that to bring glory to the Emirates, Arteta needs his best players, and  Tomiyasu is one of them.

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