Takehiro Tomiyasu is finally here and Arsenal fans can’t wait to see him in action. The Japan international joined us from Bologna for £16 million on transfer deadline day, and he is set to become a very important player for us this season.
Tomiyasu is exactly what Mikel Arteta needs at Arsenal. The 22-year-old has been signed to fill in at right-back, but he can play anywhere across the backline comfortably, which will give us a ton of options this season and beyond.
Arsenal fans are really excited to see Tomiyasu on the pitch. While we wait, here are five facts about the Japanese defender that might interest you…
Five interesting facts about Arsenal new boy Takehiro Tomiyasu
Tomiyasu wanted to be a swimmer
Almost every professional footballer dreamed to be where they are today as a kid. Tomiyasu’s dreams were slightly different when he was a little boy as he aspired to be a swimmer. (The Athletic)
However, an accident on a treadmill in his grandmother’s house left him with an injured jaw. That forced him away from the pool for a little while, which is when he tried his luck in football. It’s safe to say, that has worked out very well for him.
He could’ve joined Barcelona
Barcelona ran a football school in Tomiyasu’s home town of Fukuoka, and the defender was recommended to them. He trained there two times every week and his coach from Spain, Ivan Palanco, claimed that he had the qualities to play for the Catalans.
At just 11 years of age, Tomiyasu went to Barcelona and impressed the scouts there. Palanco recommended Barca to sign him and they were keen as well, but a VISA for the young schoolboy couldn’t be obtained and he went back home to Japan. (The Athletic)
Tomi’s work ethic is incredible
One of Arteta’s priority requirements in a player is that he should be extremely hardworking. In Tomiyasu, he seems to have found exactly the type of guy he will enjoy working with for years to come.
One of Tomiyasu’s coaches at his former club STVV, Issame Charai, revealed that the defender would work alone even after double training sessions to improve. The club’s chief executive, Takayuki Tateishi, backed that claim and said the coaches had to beg him to stop training. (The Athletic)
Arteta will surely love this.
Arsenal’s fourth-ever Japanese player
Tomiyasu is only the fourth-ever Japanese player to sign for the Arsenal men’s side. He joins Ryo Miyaichi, Takuma Asano and Junichi Inamoto, while he will only be the second-ever player to play for us in the Premier League.
Miyaichi is the only other Japanese Arsenal player to feature in the league. He made just one substitute appearance against Stoke City back in 2013. We’re certain that Tomiyasi will play much more and become the most successful player of his country to represent us.
Comparing Tomiyasu, a defender, to a midfielder like Busquets is baffling. However, the Japan international, when he was 16, played in central midfield from time to time, and he reminded everyone of the Barcelona legend.
If that comparison wasn’t big enough, Tateishi later compared him to legendary French defender Lilian Thuram. (The Athletic) If Tomiyasu becomes as good as either of them, he’ll end up being a fine player for Arsenal.