Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has said that Takehiro Tomiyasu was taken off as a precaution against Leeds United as he was struggling with a minor muscular issue.
The Japan international has been a revelation for the Gunners at right-back since his arrival from Bologna during last summer’s transfer window.
The 23-year-old has been ever-present in the Premier League, and yesterday was only the second occasion that he did not complete 90 minutes.
Tomiyasu was substituted shortly after the hour mark, and speaking after the game, Arteta said that the defender was not 100 percent fit to continue.
While the substitution was precautionary at the time, Arteta remains hopeful that it was nothing more than a minor niggle.
He told Arsenal.com: “No, it was more of a muscular injury.”
“He’s got a big load on him because he’s played every single minute since he’s joined us and even this week he’s been struggling a little bit.
“We decided to take him off, he wasn’t 100 per cent confident to continue in the game, and hopefully he’s not injured.”
Tomiyasu has brought solidity from the right-back position with his strong defensive concentration and aerial ability.
It has paved the way for the Gunners to keep eight clean sheets from the last 15 Premier League matches.
The Gunners play Sunderland in the midweek Carabao Cup quarter-final tie where several regulars could be rested.
Their next league outing will be at Norwich City on Boxing Day and hopefully, Tomiyasu is deemed fit to start.
The club have strengthened their trip on the fourth position after three successive league wins this month.
Their top-four rivals have games in hand, but it is not assured that they will pick up maximum points.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com
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