Mikel Arteta reveals Takehiro Tomiyasu's position at Arsenal

02 September 2021 06:00

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has revealed that new signing Takehiro Tomiyasu can be expected to spend most of his time playing as a right-back for the Gunners.

A £17m signing from Bologna on deadline day, Tomiyasu was given the spot in the squad freed up by Hector Bellerin's departure to Real Betis, but there had been confusion over whether he was set to play in that position or at centre-back, where he spent the majority of his minutes last season.

Well, speaking after his side's behind-closed-doors friendly against Brentford, which ended in a 4-0 win, Arteta confirmed that he sees Tomiyasu as a full-back, but one capable of playing centrally when needed as well.

"We followed him for a while," Arteta said (via football.london). "We needed a full back who could be very versatile, can play as a centre back, can play in a back three, Tomi has this capacity.

"He is 22 years old but he has some really good experience in Serie A and at international level and with the qualities we are looking for."

Arteta has changed both system and personnel already this season, switching between a three-man defence and a four, so there will seemingly be plenty of chances for Tomiyasu to play at centre-back.

However, it's on the right where he will likely be needed most. With Bellerin leaving Arsenal on loan, Arteta has just Calum Chambers and Cedric Soares at his disposal - neither of whom have covered themselves in glory so far this year.

Of his 33 appearances for Bologna last year, 14 of them were spent as a right-back, while he was almost exclusively used as a full-back in 2019/20, so he clearly comes with enough experience in the role.

"It was a really complicated market," Arteta continued. "We had a lot of things to do, I think we had 16 or 17 transactions in total, which is a lot. The club has made a big effort, we had support from the owners to try to do it and we had to recruit in the terms that we could, and I am very pleased.

"Again, it is 16/17 changes to the squad - it is a lot. You have to blend them all together, some of them haven't even trained with us yet because they have still to come in the next week or so. As quick as possible. We have a good group, they will help them to adapt as quick as possible and get them to work with us and see when we can integrate all together."

Source: 90min