Takehiro Tomiyasu said he was delighted after joining Arsenal on deadline day and sees the move as a ‘new start’ to his career after a turbulent time in Italy.
From Italian club Bologna, the Japanese international has joined the Gunners in a deal worth around £17m. He can play at full-back or as a central defender in a back three.
In addition to him, Arsenal also signed Ben White, Martin Odegaard, Albert Sambi Lokonga, Aaron Ramsdale and Nuno Tavares during the summer.
Tomiyasu, who moved to the Premier League this week, couldn’t hide his excitement and talked about the challenges he has faced so far.
‘I sense a change in the team and a new beginning. I wanted to play in the Premier League, and it is a great pleasure to join Arsenal, a big international club,’ he told the media.
I am grateful to have been able to speak with the [Japanese] association and the director and go to Europe to transfer because I would not have been able to do this without them.
The last two years have seen me suffering from muscular injuries specifically in Italy. As a result, I couldn’t do it at 100 per cent, so I wasn’t happy with the performance [in the last few months]. We need to move on, and I hope this transfer leads to a positive direction.
Tomiyasu, who is currently in Qatar with the Japanese national team, also participated in the Tokyo Olympics. Despite not having a preseason, he vows to get up to speed as soon as possible.
‘I played against Atalanta [in the Serie A] for about 10 minutes, but I wasn’t able to make an impact. I think I’m tired because most Olympic athletes don’t take breaks during the match. I haven’t played in any games since I got a break,’ he said.
I will practice aggressive behaviour in order to regain my intuition. I will need to improve my physical and mental skills before the game. This shouldn’t be a difficult task.
Arsenal is seeking their first points of the new Premier League season when they play Norwich on September 11, when Tomiyasu could make his debut.