Arsenal legend verdict on €20m transfer proven wrong after north London derby masterclass

After Arsenal’s win against Tottenham in the north London derby, Paul Merson’s assessment of Takehiro Tomiyasu was proven incorrect.
On transfer deadline day last month, Tomiyasu was signed from Bologna, replacing Spanish fullback Hector Bellerin, who joined Manuel Pellegrini’s Real Betis on a season-long loan.

Over the summer, the Japanese international was linked with a move to Tottenham Hotspur, but the Lillywhites instead chose to sign Emerson Royal from Barcelona.
When the Gunners paid a reported £17 million for the 23-year-old, club legend Merson questioned his abilities, despite the fact that Serie A’s top clubs did not appear to be interested in signing him.

“My only issue with Arsenal is that they buy players, but they never beat anyone to a player,” Merson explained to Sky Sports. “Isn’t there anyone else after that player?” Bologna’s youngster (Tomiyasu). The first thing that springs to mind is that he is a right-back from Bologna who cost €23 million (£19.6 million). Why isn’t he being bought by Juventus, AC Milan, Inter, Lazio, or Roma?
“I’m not sure what you’re talking about. I’m not sure what you’re talking about. It’s not good for business.”

Tomiyasu, on the other hand, has shown his undoubted quality thus far, shining in all three of Mikel Arteta’s games.
The versatile defender contributed to back-to-back clean sheets in 1-0 victories against Norwich City and Burnley before excelling in Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Tottenham.

Tomiyasu registered three clearances, five successful duels and an interception against Nuno Espirito Santo’s men, winning the majority of his battles against South Korean forward Son Heung-min.

The 23-year-old was also crucial in the build-up phase, often tucking inside to form a back three alongside Ben White and Gabriel to offer Aaron Ramsdale additional protection against the Spurs frontline