Arsenal have signed defender Takehiro Tomiyasu from Bologna for a reported fee believed to be worth £16m with £2.57m in bonuses. Tomiyasu joins the club on a four-year deal with the option for a fifth. The player completed his Arsenal medical in Italy and will wear the number 18 shirt.
Tomiyasu is likely Arsenal’s final signing of the window, with Héctor Bellerín joining Real Betis.
Tomiyasu seems to fit the hybrid player style that Arsenal have gone for all summer. Arsenal have looked to sign young players who can play in multiple positions, with Tomiyasu capable of playing as both a right-back and as a centre-back.
Arsenal seem to have the same ambitions for Tomiyasu as they do for for other summer signing Ben White, as someone who can help the club build up play from the back as Mikel Arteta works desperately hard to make his playing out from the back system work.
It was not only Arsenal who were interested in Tomiyasu, however. Tottenham Hotspur had long held an interest in the right-back, however, as they switched their interest to Barcelona’s Emerson Royal, Arsenal were able to swoop in to complete the deal.
Tomiyasu began his career in Hakata, a city in the Fukuoka Prefecture, with Avispa Fukuoka. Tomiyasu impressed with the club and was offered a place at Barcelona’s academy, however, the deal was unable to be completed as it proved difficult for Tomiyasu to travel to Spain.
“Takehiro is a strong defender with good experience in Serie A and at international level. He’s a versatile defender with great defensive qualities, high technical ability and composure on the ball. He will be an important member of our squad. We look forward to Takehiro joining up with us when he returns from international duty.”Mikel Arteta
Following impressive displays for Avispa Fukuoka, Tomiyasu then moved to Sint-Truidense V.V. int he Belgian league. Tomiyasu impressed in Belgium and won the club’s Player of the Year award, for his performances.
By this point, Tomiyasu was beginning to attract interest from all over Europe, however, Tomiyasu joined Italian side Bologna for £7.7m (€9m), becoming the second Japanese player to play for the club since midfielder Hidetoshi Nakata, who was on loan at the club for a season.
Tomiyasu’s performances for Bologna have once again shown an impressive elements about the player, with his tactical versatility likely to be a key asset going forward, especially if Arsenal decide to rotate between a back four and a back three.
He has made 23 appearances (scoring 1 goal) for the Japan national side and has been described by Bologona’s Technical Coach, Emilio De Leo as having “… the ability to read and manipulate time and space in a modern way”.
For his part, Mikel Arteta has reportedly pushed very hard for the move internally. Tomiyasu fits the profile of the kind of player Arsenal are looking for and has asked Technical Director Edu to complete the deal as soon as possible.
Arsenal will hope that Tomiyasu will be available for their next Premier League match, a home fixture against struggling Norwich City.