The interesting story of how Tomiyasu arrived at Arsenal from being a child in Japan

There were very few Arsenal fans that had heard of Takehero Tomiyasu when he arrived last summer on deadline day for the bargain pice of around £16 million from Bologna.

His road to London was long and interesting, but you could probably say it started when he was an 11 year-old in Japan and he was recommended by his teacher to go to a Barcelona Soccer Camp. He was so impressive that the Spanish giants offered him a place at their famous academy but the logistics of relocating his family to Spain was just too difficult at the time and instead he joined up with youth team of the J-League club Avispa Fukuoka.

He became a regular first teamer at just 18 years of age, and after a couple of years he was surprisingly offered a place at St. Truiden in Belgium, where he had to quickly learn the local language and also studied English, as his dream was always to play in the Premier League. He said after moving to St Trudens: “I want to become a special player in Belgium,”

“I do dream of playing in the Premier League one day. I played against England Under-18s with Japan. That match opened my eyes. That’s when I realised I had to move if I wanted to get to the next level.

“Communicating is the hardest part. Everyone is nice to me, but I only understand a few words. It’s difficult to understand what is being said in training but, actually, the training sessions are more difficult for me than the matches, but I’m taking English lessons.”

He only spent 18 months in Belgium, where he made 40 appearances and won the Player of the Season in 2018/19 before being snapped up by Bologna for a reported 9million. He was named as Player of the Month after his first three games in Serie A and was brought to the attention of top European clubs during his two year stint in Italy.

The Arteta and Edu stepped in, and he finally realised his dream of moving to the English Premier League, and again he won the Arsenal Player of the Month after his first 3 games under Arteta. He has nothing but praise for the boss: “Mikel Arteta is the best manager I’ve ever had,” Tomi says. “He’s done a lot for me – on the pitch and off it too. Of course he helps me improve my game, along with the rest of the staff. He’s such an intelligent person. He knows absolutely everything about football and the game’s structure. He gives you a really clear picture of what you need to do – and I’m really learning a lot from him.

“He’s helped develop my game but I really appreciate how he has helped me away from the pitch, too. I was so disappointed when I got injured last season, but Mikel spoke to me a lot and helped me through that time.

“Sometimes you have tough times in football – and being injured is always really difficult. It was a tough period for me but having support from inside the club made a big difference. It wasn’t just Mikel – my team-mates were there for me and so were the coaching staff.

“When you get that level of support and love it really inspires you to give your absolute best for the club. Arsenal are one of the biggest clubs in the world and I think everyone is determined to be a success. It’s a good environment here as a player.”

He only managed the first half of last season, but he seems to be back to full fitness now, and I can’t wait for him to return to the first team on a regular basis. At only 23, he still has many years ahead to become a legend for Arsenal. But it is a great sttory for him to realise the dream he had as a young kid in Japan and making it across the world to make it come true….

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  1. It is interesting, although also not surprising given that there’s only so amny ways to get here from Japan.

    What struck me was his comment re MA:

    “He gives you a really clear picture of what you need to do – and I’m really learning a lot from him”

    I noticed when I watched AON, that’s the bit we didn’t see, the part where he does real coaching of individual players and discussions of in-depth team tactics. Which is good – it’s sensible to keep that under wraps (as well as Edu & co’s assessment of players and targets).

    All we saw was a bit of half-time ranting, “must want it more” and all that ra-ra stuff and you realise that we’re not seeing the full picture by a long chalk, MA must be doing a lot more than that. The players seem impressed with him which says a lot.

    1. IDKWIC, I always think that when rating any person in charge of a group of others, whether in football or not in sport at all, it is always wisest to listen to the REAL FEELINGS of those who are being taught .

      And then to judge that person in charge from those who really know and who are at the coalface , so to speak, of what is actually happening day after day.

      And it is also wise to ignore those who are not in any REAL position to know and who may well have a private agenda of their own , whether for or against the one in charge.

      Apart from Guendouzi – about whom one might well expect angst and criticism- no single Arsenal player has ever, to my knowledge, uttered anything but praise for the coaching talents of ARTETA.
      That tells me a great deal, as it will to others who have the ability to think logically.

  2. I’ll write my strangely disappeared post again:

    I always think that when judging the talents of someone in charge of a team it is wise to listen to those who are under his comand and who really know from the coalface itself, so to speak.
    It is also wise to disregard the comments of those who are in no TRUE position to know, meaning those who are not at training sessions but who ARE on social media.

    With the single exception of the discredited and vengeful Guendouzi, about whom MA had the sense to quickly get him out of the club, not a single Arsenal player past or present who was at one time under him, has ever said anything except praise of his coaching ability.

    That tells me and others, including IDKWIC, who also think logically, a great deal!

  3. Just ocurred to me to wonder has anyone ever seen this mysterious “glitch” that we all talk about so often!

    Perhaps it has two heads and no brain. Or looks a lot like Harry Kane. So either way it can’t be real . So no more glitches, deal or no deal?

    * Apologies to all poets everywhere and to Noel Edmonds too. And yes, I wont give up the day job!!

  4. @Jon

    1. try clearing you browser cache.
    2. next time this happens press F12 and navigate to a tab called Console. If there are errors (red) maybe send them to admin to investigate.

    Sounds like a caching issue or you brop connection causing post request to not be sent to server.

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