Takehiro Tomiyasu has sent a warning to teammate Ben White that he is not ready to settle for a bit-part role this season.
THE LOWDOWN: LOST PLACE
It has been an unpleasant start to the new campaign for Tomiyasu. He has been battling fitness issues, which has allowed Ben White to thrive in his place at right-back.
White has started all seven of Arsenal’s league games in the current campaign, playing his part in a makeshift role as the Gunners sit top of the Premier League table. Meanwhile, Tomiyasu, who has lost his place to White, has been making substitute appearances in the past six league games.
THE LATEST: “I AM NOT SATISFIED”
Takehiro Tomiyasu has warned Ben White that he isn’t settling for a bit-part role this season at Arsenal, after he lost his place to the Englishman in Mikel Arteta’s starting XI.
He said: “What is required in this league is quite high and I’m not satisfied. When you look at the players selected as starters in the premier league games, you will understand what is required to be there. I will work hard in order to get my position back.”
The Japanese international arrived from Bologna just over a year ago and settled in quickly to become one of the important members of the squad. However, a series of calf injuries saw Tomiyasu feature sparingly in the second half of last term and that affected his chances this term.
THE VERDICT: HE NEEDS TO FIGHT
Tomiyasu’s injury concerns opened the door for White to feature at right-back and William Saliba’s chance at the heart of the defence. Without that, Saliba could still be out of the team at this time, while White and Gabriel continue their partnership from last season at the centre-back position.
“You don’t change a winning team” – is what is happening at the Emirates at the moment. Unless White or either of the centre-backs is injured or suspended, Tomiyasu might not get his chance in the coming weeks.
However, there are games coming up in the Europa League and League Cup that he can use to gain the confidence of the manager again.
One thing is clear, the Arsenal team is quite competitive this term unlike last season and with eyes on the top four spot, players like the Japanese will have to do extra work in order to regain their spots in the team.