Arsenal handed Tomiyasu boost ahead of Norwich clash
Tomiyasu work permit accepted; available for Norwich fixture
New Arsenal defender Takehiro Tomiyasu is in line to make his Premier League debut for Mikel Arteta’s Gunners this weekend against Norwich after the Japanese international has had his work permit application accepted.
Takehiro Tomiyasu’s work permit application has been approved.
He’s available to play against Norwich on Saturday. #AFC
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) September 9, 2021
The 22-year-old summer signing from Bologna, who earned his 23rd cap for Japan in their 1-0 win against China in World Cup qualifying while completing 90-minutes, is now primed to begin life in north London after Arsenal secured his services months after their initial interest began.
Mikel Arteta’s outfit comes into their home clash with Norwich in desperate need of three points as Arsenal sits bottom of the Premier League table having failed to score a single goal against Brentford, Chelsea, and Manchester City.
Arsenal should have their full complement of center-backs available, with Gabriel also fit for duty alongside Tomiyasu, Ben White, Rob Holding, and Pablo Marí.
Center-back or right-back? Arsenal to utilize versatile defender
With Arsenal utilizing a back-three deployment in their recent closed-door friendly against Brentford at London Colney, questions still surround what long-term approach Arteta will look to champion at the Emirates Stadium as the club’s rebuilding project looks to finally establish firm footing.
One of the chief plus points that come with Tomiyasu’s profile is his ability to be deployed as either a center-back or a right-back, but his two-footed nature and ability to be a very progressive passer would open up a wealth of tactical options for Arsenal that they previously could not rely on.
None of Calum Chambers, Cédric Soares, or Ainsley Maitland-Niles can boast a balanced profile of a player capable in defense while also having the ability to build from the back consistently. Neither could the outgoing Héctor Bellerín, and this tactical shortcoming forced Arsenal to rely too heavily on the overlapping runs of Kieran Tierney.
Tomiyasu would not only provide Arsenal with a valuable defensive upgrade, but a center-back who is in a more modern mold that should be able to adapt to what Arteta deems a vital requirement in his ability to give underlapping support when in possession, or bypass the midfield entirely while building from the back.
Whether or not Arsenal fans will see the new man this weekend is unclear as it may come one match too soon after a long international break that involved a back-and-forth trip to Asia, but the long-term prospect of his inclusion is an exciting one.