After an awful start to the season, there are plenty of positives around Arsenal right now.
One of the most significant of these is the competition for starting places that has been created by new signings. Nowhere is this more typified than at left-back, where Nuno Tavares’ excellent recent form in the absence of Kieran Tierney has created a selection problem that Mikel Arteta admits he is delighted to have.
“This is what we need,” he said of the pair’s battle to be in the first XI. “Two top players that are raising the level in their position – and I’m happy with that.”
Over on the right side, though, it’s a different story.
Despite having effectively four options to choose from, the competition for places is nowhere near as fierce in the Gunners’ right-back spot.
Since his deadline day arrival from Bologna, Takehiro Tomiyasu has started every single Premier League game in the position, beating off competition from Cedric, Calum Chambers and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
This is essentially due to the fact that there is no one in the squad who can replicate the crucial role the Japan international plays in Arteta’s tactics.
With Tierney and Tavares both being very attack-minded options down the left, the Spaniard wants someone on the right more capable of hanging back a bit to provide some defensive cover.
This player must also be adept on the ball as he is tasked with drifting infield to provide an extra central passing option in the build-up.
Although Tomiyasu has been largely excellent in this role, if Arteta is to achieve his dream squad, then he will want someone capable of pushing the Japan international for a starting spot.
With this in mind, it’s fascinating to note that Arsenal are once against being linked with RB Leipzig’s Tyler Adams.
The US international was reportedly on the Gunners’ list of right-back targets in the summer, but with his desire to play under Leipzig’s new American coach Jesse Marsch, the move was something of a non-starter.
However, with Leipzig’s poor form, which sees them 5th in the Bundesliga and bottom of their Champions League group, there is a possibility Adams could be available for a relatively attainable £32.5million, due to a reported release clause in his contract.
Having spent much of his career as a defensive midfielder, the New Yorker has all the traits Arteta is looking for in a right-back and could be the perfect person to push Tomiyasu.