Mikel Arteta wanted us to be unpredictable this season, to catch teams off guard, and that’s exactly what he’s doing. For example, against Brentford in the Carabao Cup, he could have easily started Tomiyasu at right back, his original position when he joined us, but instead he slotted him at central defence to replace William Saliba and play alongside Gabriel, while our original £50 million centre back, Ben White, retained his right back position.
Tomiyasu performed at centre defence against Brentford, demonstrating why he could be the best 1 on 1 player in our squad, with nothing getting past him.
He put up a tireless display, not only playing at centre back but also at right back in the final 20 minutes of the game. He produced some excellent tackles and interceptions to prevent Brentford from equalising.
Prior to the Carabao Cup match on Wednesday, the Japanese international had only appeared in one league game for Arsenal. He played left back in that game. His ability to play central defence and right back other than left back demonstrates how valuable he is to us.
Although it is expected (or hoped) that Saliba will have an injury-free season, Tomiyasu could be the ideal backup for him.
How impressed were you with Tomiyasu’s performance against Brentford on Wednesday night?
His stats were as follows:
90 minutes played
46 passes completed
9 passes into the final third
3 times possession won
1 ground duel won
3 aerial duels won
3 blocked shots
1 last-man tackle
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