Arsenal: 4 positives of Takehiro Tomiyasu transfer

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Arsenal, Takehiro Tomiyasu

4 positives of Takehiro Tomiyasu transfer addition as Arteta secures sixth summer signing of busy window for Arsenal. (Photo by Marco Canoniero/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Setting out their stall for the summer transfer window, the list of positions that needed filling were as clear to those in charge of Arsenal as they were to those paying good money to watch mediocrity each week.

Mikel Arteta inherited a mess that he has helped contribute to with ill-advised tactical decisions, supplemented by further errors of judgement from those around him.

Years of failings have been added to, all which culminated in a summer transfer window with an outrageous amount of work to complete. Major trimming of the squad was required just as wholesale additions were needed to edge Arsenal back towards being a competitive side again.

In the end six new faces walked through the Emirates doors to hopefully act as the springboard that will push the side back up the Premier League table.

4 positives of Takehiro Tomiyasu transfer addition as Arteta secures sixth summer signing of busy window for Arsenal

Takehiro Tomiyasu was the final piece of a large and complicated puzzle.

With plenty more to do in the windows to come, all this summer’s work is nonetheless complete and while the defender may be last up on the arrivals list (was tracked over the summer), his signing can be one of the most important.

Interest was there earlier in the transfer window with Arsenal finally making their minds up on the eve of deadline day, parting with an initial £16m to bring the 22-year-old to north London from Bologna.

Not a great deal is known about him from fans of the Premier League. It’s a left-field signing in the sense of him not being a household name, but not at all in the sense of being what Arteta wants in a right-back. There are plenty of positives from this acquisition looking at the deal at what it is: someone who is yet to kick a ball for Arsenal.

Arsenal, Takehiro Tomiyasu

RENATO DALL’ARA STADIUM, BOLOGNA, ITALY – 2021/01/30: Takehiro Tomiyasu of Bologna during the Serie A football match between Bologna FC and AC Milan. AC Milan won 2-1 over Bologna FC. (Photo by Andrea Staccioli/Insidefoto/LightRocket via Getty Images)

1. Tomiyasu is Exactly Who Arteta Wanted

As revealed by The Athletic, Tomiyasu is very much Arteta’s man. He really wanted this addition. The same can be said for all the signings this summer, which leaves the manager with nowhere to hide, but for someone with clear method of playing out from the back the stylistic fit makes this signing feel even more important.

Well documented now is how Arteta wants Arsenal to build out from the goalkeeper with three central defenders. Even if the lineups have read 4-2-3-1 for a number of months, the setup in possession, like so many teams, bears little resemblance to that.

As a central defender who has become a ‘hybrid’ operator, shifting between central defence and right-back during his career, Tomiyasu fits the bill of what Arteta desires from the right-back position to complement the Gunners’ opposing flank.

Bringing in a ‘right-footed Tierney’ would have been a transitional accident waiting to happen. Arsenal would have been caught cold numerous times. In Tomiyasu, Arteta has a right-back comfortable with moving infield to form part of a back three and also slot onto the right of a back four out of possession. It’s a role he fulfilled for Bologna.

Cedric can’t master this role, Bellerin tried but it wasn’t suited to his style and Chambers’ lack of pace and technical security mean he is too often caught out tracking runners or defending in one-on-ones. Tomiyasu’s two-footedness also aids build up.

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