Arsenal defender Takehiro Tomiyasu has been a revelation for the Gunners since his move from Bologna during last summer’s transfer window.
The Japan international was a relatively unknown when he first arrived at the club, but he has proved an excellent acquisition with consistent top-class displays.
The right-back spot has been a problematic position over the years. While Hector Bellerin impressed going forward, there were question marks over him defensively.
Tomiyasu has provided the right balance since his arrival, and it has been relishing to watch after one Sky Sport journalist mocked the Gunners’ decision to sign him.
Yesterday was another prime example of his influence. The 23-year-old was excellent in nullifying the threat from Raheem Sterling, who has been the Gunners’ nemesis.
He ended the game with three tackles, three interceptions and five clearances. He lost the ball on just seven occasions despite the Gunners being a man down for most of the second half.
Tomiyasu and Thomas Partey were exceptional with their defensive resolve yesterday but unfortunately, some controversial refereeing decisions paved the way for a 2-1 loss.
The defeat will be a tough one to take after holding City until the 93rd minute before conceding their winning goal.
There are lessons to be learned from the experience. There has definitely been progress from the reverse fixture where they lost 5-0 after the early sending-off of Granit Xhaka.
Tomiyasu has become a fan favourite within months. A section of the Gunners faithful were undoubtedly worried when it was initially deemed that he could miss the City game.
Summer signings Aaron Ramsdale, Ben White and Martin Odegaard have also been a crucial part of the starting line-up, but Tomiyasu has been an excellent bargain signing.
At just £16 million, he has been the Gunners’ best piece of business. Mikel Arteta was the driving force behind the deadline day move. Tomiyasu appears the Spaniard’s best signing yet.
Stats from Sofascore.com
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