MIKEL ARTETA HIGHLIGHTS TAKEHIRO TOMIYASU AFTER BEATING LEICESTER CITY
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Arsenal defender Takehiro Tomiyasu has said he is a big fan of Mikel Arteta’s style of play as the Japan international opens up on his opening months in north London.
Tomiyasu, 23, has already clocked 692 Premier League minutes after he completed his £17million summer switch from Bologna after establishing himself as a firm Arteta favourite.
His impact on what was a very shaky Arsenal backline when he joined cannot be underestimated and statistics from FBref.com demonstrate the point.
Since making his debut on September 11 in the north Londoners’ first league win of the season against Norwich City, the former Bologna man has a points per match rate of (2.50) which is the eighth-best currently in the top flight.
Additionally, his defensive qualities have been highlighted by the average blocks (1.94), clearances (4.07), and aerials won (3.49) per game which are some of the best rates in the Premier League currently.
More impressively, the ex-Serie A lynchpin ranks fifth amongst the league’s best so far in this 2021/22 campaign for percentage of dribblers tackled (75.0).
All of this has cumulated to the Arsenal fans instantly taking to the defender and also winning the Arsenal player of the Month award in the first part of his stay at the club.
Despite winning the award, manager Mikel Arteta challenged his defender to keep on improving with even better performances than what we have seen already.
Reacting to Tomiyasu’s award, Arteta told the club’s website, via the Metro: “I’m very impressed, he has done it in a really natural way. It puts a smile on your face when you look at him, for how he communicates, how he is.
“It’s not been easy for him, we asked him to come in and play after two days against Norwich, then we went to Burnley, then the North London Derby… a lot has happened and I am really happy with him.
“For me [the Premier League] is the hardest to adapt to, and the hardest to stay at the top. That is the challenge.
“Now he has shown he has the right qualities, the right mentality and personality to play for this club and in this country, and now he needs to maintain that and keep improving.”
The respect between the two has been reciprocated by the 23-year-old, who has been informing his Japanese fan base on what it is like to play under the Spaniard.
During the November internationals, Tomiyasu has already played alongside ex-Saints centre-half Maya Yohsida in his nations’ 1-0 win over Vietnam, and the same pairing will most likely feature in the next World Cup qualifier against Oman on Thursday.
In the meantime, whilst winding down from all the action, the central defender has highly praised his club manager’s ability to manage the team effectively in the time he has been at the club.
Writing in his own column in the Japanese news outlet Nishi Nippon Sports, Tomiyasu explained: “Arteta’s football is very logical/rational, and one can understand most things.
“I would like to express that style of football on the pitch, but there are still some areas in technique and decision-making that are still lacking.
“To be able to express Arteta’s style of football, in training I use my mind to process it while ingraining it within myself. Then in the match, I play confidently with a clear mind. With that cycle, I hope to be able to naturally display his style of football on the pitch.”
He added: “Arsenal is a wonderful club at the top level of the world, but where we are now is not the world’s highest goal.
“There is further and further higher to go, and I think there are no limits to how high we can go from here on. With this unchanging mindset, I plan to keep stepping forward on my path to the future.”
That open and honest admission and love for the club has gone down well with the Arsenal faithful on social media. Here’s a selection of the reaction on Reddit.