Trooper Tomiyasu: With only one assist, what makes him so great? by Benedict
The 23-year-old Japanese right back has been an instant Arsenal fan favourite since joining the club this summer but why?
There are many answers to why Takehiro Tomiyasu feels like such a Gooner at heart and impresses the Arsenal faithful, but many didn’t even know anything about him or his career with Bologna when he signed.
The Japanese international has recently been praised by former Arsenal and Everton striker Kevin Campbell and compared to icons Lee Dixon and Lauren, very high praise indeed.
Tomiyasu is tough. The simple answer is his toughness. There is something about his no nonsense style of play that we all seem to love, he is not too flashy or technical but does the basics so well, including a lot of the gritty defending.
Kevin Campbell said: “I think his toughness and his relentless nature is how Lee Dixon used to play and he’s a bit like Lauren, Lauren was tough, he could play, and he was tough.”
Don’t get me wrong, Tomiyasu’s overall game is strong, he doesn’t give the ball away much and he combines well in attacks, always an option for Saka going forward. But it’s reassuring to see him back defending every time we need him.
You don’t have to look far to see evidence of this, the beautiful first goal in our 3-0 win against Southampton is evidence of how well Tomiyasu can contribute going forward, fantastic link-up on the right flank.
From getting stamped on the face in the 2-1 loss to Everton by Godfrey (not even a yellow by the way), he still played the full 90 with an obvious bruised scrape down his chin. To an impressive New Year’s Day performance against Manchester City, he kept Sterling quiet just after having had a week out recovering with Covid.
He just feels like a titan, wears the shirt with pride and leaves it all on the pitch.
As well as this, being 6.1 feet tall means he is much more dominant in the air compared to the on-loan Hector Bellerin who is only 5.8. Arsenal fans seem to be enjoying the refreshingly dominant right back.
Campbell continued: “We hit him sometimes at goal kicks because he’s aerially dominant. At that back-stick where we’ve had so many problems in the past, we don’t seem to have those problems anymore.”
His statistics show how reassured Tomiyasu has been for us this season; only one yellow card in 16 games for the club and a tackle success rate of 81%. You can see how the number 18 could easily fill in at centre half if we ever needed him too, another big positive of having him at the club.
I think that Tomiyasu has been vital in the defensively reassured system we are beginning to see at Arsenal and so his involvement in the team will be crucial in our upcoming games (especially Spurs) if we are to push for that 4th spot and dream of Champions League football again.
Tomiyasu deserves all the praise coming his way.
Until next time Gooners.
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