Japanese defender Takehiro Tomiyasu has agreed a new long-term contract with Arsenal, committing his future to the club amid interest from other teams.
Despite interest from Bayern Munich and Inter Milan in recent months, Tomiyasu looks set to extend his stay in north London after Fabrizio Romano confirmed that the 25-year-old's new contract is "agreed and sealed."
The club have certainly felt his absence over the last few weeks, while he has been representing his native Japan at the Asian Cup, with his impact and defensive solidity, either as a starter or from the bench, a real asset to the team.
His current contract has entered its final 18 months, which means the agreement of a new deal could not have come at a better time, as the club tie down an important player, and a valuable asset, for his prime years.
A possible delay
Reports emerged a few weeks ago that clubs have been holding off from signing new contracts with players and staff until the next accounts reporting period, as fears over Financial Fair Play (FFP) and the Premier League's Profit and Sustainability rules grow.
Some clubs are reported to have agreed to new contracts, but will not finalise them until June, with the promise of backdating potentially increased wages upon the signing of a new deal, so that players do not miss out financially.
It is unclear at this stage whether this could be a method used by the Gunners, whose concerns over FFP and the Premier League's Profit and Sustainability rules have been well documented, which could make it an appealing option to err on the side of caution.
An excellent decision
The decision to renew Tomiyasu's contract is a very good one, as it not only ensures that we can keep a very good, and useful, player at the club for the foreseeable future, but also protects his value which could bear massive rewards for Arsenal later down the line.
He also adds immense value to our squad thanks to his versatility, with him looking natural as a fullback on either side of the pitch, or even as a right-sided centre-back, and is more than capable of filling in where needed.
This versatility could see him back in the starting lineup sooner rather than later, too, with it possible that he could fill in for Oleksandr Zinchenko, who went off injured in our 3-1 win against Liverpool.