Why Takehiro Tomiyasu deserves to keep place in Arsenal lineup over Ben White

  • Takehiro Tomiyasu is currently enjoying a resurgence
  • Ben White picked up an injury before the November break
  • Does Tomiyasu deserve to lose his place?
Brentford FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League
Brentford FC v Arsenal FC - Premier League / Visionhaus/GettyImages

Ben White may now be back after a minor injury, but after Takehiro Tomiyasu's impressive performances in recent games, the Japanese defender deserves to keep his place in the team.

When White suffered an injury before the November break, many fans were understandably worried about what it could mean for the Gunners' season during an important run of games.

It would soon transpire, however, that these fears were unnecessarily placed as his replacement, Tomiyasu, was more than equal to the task of deputising for the four-time England international.

So while we should all be rightfully pleased and positive that White is able to play once more, that does not necessarily mean that he should.

In his three starts for the Gunners since White's injury, Tomiyasu has excelled and proven to be a real asset for Mikel Arteta's side, who won all three games, conceding just a single goal in the process. As well as defensive solidity during these games, the Japanese international also popped up with two assists, showing that there are multiple dimensions to his game.

Here to stay?

FC Bayern München v F.C. Copenhagen: Group A - UEFA Champions League 2023/24
FC Bayern München v F.C. Copenhagen: Group A - UEFA Champions League 2023/24 / Sebastian Widmann/GettyImages

Tomiyasu's upturn in form could not have come at a more poignant time for both him and the club, as rumours persist that Bayern Munich are keen to sign the 25-year-old.

His form, perhaps aided by conveniently timed transfer rumours, has also seen reliable reports confirming that the club are in ongoing contract talks to extend the defender's stay at the club for the foreseeable future.

He has more than merited a fresh deal and, if nothing else, he has shown that it is absolutely vital that he is not sold by the club - given the ability and versatility that he offers.

Back to his best

After making the move to north London from Bologna in 2021, Tomiyasu almost immediately looked to show real promise, and it felt as though the club had potentially uncovered a diamond in the rough.

Unfortunately, he has also suffered a series of injuries which have been substantial setbacks for his Arsenal career, with his most recent one, a knee injury, seeing him out of action for over 100 days.

Since returning at the start of this season, however, he has looked to be back to his best, once again showing the promise that underlined his start to life at Arsenal.

So, White or Tomiyasu?

So, while White is undeniably a brilliant player for us, and has seen his quality shine through time and time again, Tomiyasu needs to keep his place in the side, in my opinion.

He has done nothing to warrant losing his place and, while it may seem harsh on White, competition for places is healthy and part of parcel of having a strong team capable of challenging for titles.

In an ideal world, we would probably see the duo rotated but, at least against Wolves, I see absolutely no benefit to the team in seeing Tomiyasu return to the bench.