Arteta: 'Still some things' for Arsenal to do in window
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Arsenal are on the verge of completing a £20million deal for Bologna defender Takehiro Tomiyasu, and the Japanese defender has had an interesting career so far leading up to his Premier League move.
Arsenal are on the verge of signing Takehiro Tomiyasu from Bologna in a deal worth £20million, which will see Hector Bellerin leave the club and head back to Spain.
The Japanese international originally joined the Italian outfit in 2019, after signing from Belgian side Sint-Truidense for €9m (£7.7m) as he impressed in his native Japan.
The 22-year-old is already in the good books of the Arsenal fans, after Tomiyasu was heavily pursued by north London rivals Tottenham, but joins the Gunners instead.
Tomiyasu is the latest signing in a busy summer window for Arsenal, and takes their total spend to £155m, joining Ben White, Nuno Tavares, Martin Odegaard, Aaron Ramsdale and Albert Sambi Lokonga.
Arteta’s dream signing
Tomiyasu will be an extremely valuable asset for Mikel Arteta due to his versatility and will majorly boost their defensive options for the season ahead.
The Japanese international is a versatile defender who can play both centre-back and right-back, with Arsenal needing to strengthen in both areas.
This means that the 22-year-old will be able to operate in either a back four or a back three with wing backs, allowing Arteta the freedom to shake up the defence depending on their opposition.
Tomiyasu has also played as a holding midfielder during his youth career, highlighting his defensive ability to occupy an impressive number of roles which will be essential at Arsenal.
Barcelona transfer collapse
The Japanese defender almost joined Barcelona at the age of 11, after starring in Japan from a young age, and attended a trial with the Spanish side.
The Catalan club have a football camp in Japan, and Tomiyasu made such a good impression that he was offered a place in the Barcelona academy in Spain.
However, the opportunity was rejected by the youngster at the time, as a 9,000+ mile move away from home was a huge stumbling block, but thankfully it’s worked out well for Tomiyasu in the long run.
The Japanese international left his hometown in 2018 to move to Europe and join Belgian side Sint-Truidense and was picked up by Bologna just a year later, and established himself as one of the best promising defenders in Serie A.
Tomiyasu may not have made the move to Barcelona, but it didn’t stop him idolising one of their star players, as Javier Mascherano became a hero for the defender.
The influence of Barca had a big impact on Tomiyasu, and he attempted to emulate Mascherano’s playing style, especially the Argentine’s ability to rotate between midfield and defence.
Following his experience with Barcelona, Tomiyasu told Soccer-king in 2019: “The environment is completely different from the team I belong to. The level is high and it was very inspiring.”
Mascherano’s influence has moulded the Japanese international into an extremely versatile defender, and the 22-year-old will now look to take the next step in the Premier League.
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