Takehiro Tomiyasu’s recurring injury problems might mean Arsenal might be forced to explore the option of another defender.
THE LOWDOWN: A PECULIAR PROBLEM
Injury is part of the game and Arsenal have had a fair share of injuries under Mikel Arteta. Arsenal were without their first-choice fullbacks for a considerable part of last season, as Kieran Tierney and Takehiro Tomiyasu were hit with injuries.
The Gunners had to bring in Nuno Tavares from Benfica to be a backup to Tierney, as he had recurring injuries. And this seems to be the same trajectory at right back, as Cedric had to cover Tomiyasu last season when he was out through injury.
However, with Tavares giving mixed performances and Tierney’s fitness not reliable, the club moved to sign Oleksandr Zinchenko from Manchester City. With the announcement now done and dusted, it means there is enough cover and quality at left-back.
THE LATEST: ANOTHER BLOW
Arsenal have moved to solve their left back issues due to Tierney’s injury. However, the same issue has come up at right back.
According to reports from Yahoo Japan, Tomiyasu has picked up a minor muscle issue that has kept him out of preseason so far. Arsenal have only two pre-season games before their Premier League opener against Crystal Palace and it is unlikely that he will be fit enough by that time.
THE VERDICT: QUALITY IN DEPTH IS IMPORTANT
As earlier said, injuries are part of the game and they are inevitable. This is why the club must be prepared to avoid last season’s issues from repeating itself.
Tomiyasu is a reliable right back and his quality is evident. However, the same cannot be said for his backup, Cedric Soares.
Having quality options is essential. Arsenal must buy strong players for all positions and the right back is looking like the weakest in terms of backup options in the squad right now. Although Ben White has been featured at right back in one of the Gunners’ pre-season games, his best position is at the centre and his apparent lack of speed will see him struggle in that position.
Arsenal could yet be forced to target another defender and possibly a right-back this time around, except they decide to keep out-of-favour Hector Bellerin for the coming season, which is rather unlikely.