Arsenal completed the most expensive transfer window in their recent history with the signing of Japanese center-back Tomiyasu. Arsenal completed the move for a fee of £16.74m and at just 22 years of age Tomiyasu provides re-sale value for the club. In this article, we will see five facts about Arsenal’s Tomiyasu.
#5 Nearly joined La Masia
As an 11-year-old, Tomiyasu was studying and playing in Japan when a golden opportunity presented itself. Tomiyasu’s coach recommended him to take part in a camp organized by FC Barcelona. Tomiyasu joined the camp and impressed La Masia scouts with his performances.
He was subsequently invited to join La Masia permanently. But unfortunately, Tomiyasu could not relocate to Spain due to personal issues. Hence, he remained in Japan and joined Avispa Fukouka. In his first season at the club, Tomiyasu helped Fukouka gain promotion to the Japanese top-flight J1 League. In the 2017-18 season, Tomiyasu became a regular presence for Fukouka but could not stop them from getting relegated.
#4 Sint-Truiden’s best player
In January 2018, Tomiyasu moved to Belgian club Sint-Truiden in a deal worth £6.30m. He did not make his debut until May 2018 due to an ankle injury. Tomiyasu made his presence felt in the 2018-19 season by making 40 appearances for Sint-Truiden across competitions.
Tomiyasu’s performances for Sint-Truiden was recognized by Belgian media, and he quickly became a fan favorite. Tomiyasu won the Sint-Truiden’s player of the year award in his first full season for the club. In the summer of 2019, Tomiyasu departed for Bologna, as he felt that Serie A would give him a great platform to improve his defensive game.
#3 A regular in Japan’s first team
Tomiyasu played in the Monatigu tournament as a U-16 player and went on to represent them in various age group categories. He was part of the Japanese team that won the AFC U-19 Championship in Bahrain. Tomiyasu made his senior team debut on October 2018 in a 3-0 victory against Panama.
In the 2019 AFC Asian Cup, Tomiyasu captained the side that lost the final to Qatar. Tomiyasu also represented Japan in the 2019 Copa America held in Brazil. He has learned a lot from his defensive partner Maya Yoshida, who captains Sampdoria.
#2 Versatile and Ambidextrous
Although Tomiyasu grew up playing as a central defender, his game has evolved and is now capable of playing as a full-back. In his first year at Bologna, manager Mihajlovic used him regularly in the right-back position. This helped Tomiyasu to adapt to Serie A without the pressure of playing at the heart of a team’s defense.
Tomiyasu has also been deployed as a defensive midfielder. Another interesting fact about Arsenal’s Tomiyasu is his ambidexterity. Tomiyasu uses his right foot more than his left but is notably good with his weaker foot. This quality could enable him to play as a left-back in case of injury to Tierney.
#1 Scouted by Tottenham Hotspur
Tomiyasu’s performances for Bologna caught the eye of a few clubs across Europe. The three clubs interested in his signature were Atalanta, and the North London outfits Arsenal and Spurs. Atalanta dropped out early, but Spurs and Arsenal remained committed to sign Tomiyasu.
A few days before the closure of the summer transfer window, Spurs came to know about the availability of Barcelona’s Emerson Royal. Hence, they dropped out of the race and Arsenal signed Tomiyasu. It will be interesting to see who performs better this season, Arsenal’s Tomiyasu or Spurs’ Emerson.