Arsenal have been handed a big injury boost regarding right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu.
That’s according to a report by the Evening Standard, who relayed the claims of Japan manager Hajime Moriyasu, who himself revealed that the defender is set to be fit before their World Cup opener on November 23 – something which subsequently means the 24-year-old should be in line for a return to club football in December.
Regarding the current condition of the 29-cap international, Moriyasu said: “I hear it’s possible for him to return before the start of the tournament.”
While the Evening Standard go on to suggest in their report that Tomiyasu remains a doubt for Arsenal’s Carabao Cup meeting with Brighton & Hove Albion on Wednesday and the Gunners’ Premier League meeting with Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, the fact that the right-back will be fit to feature in the World Cup is nevertheless great news for Mikel Arteta.
Indeed, while Ben White has impressed at right-back in the absence of the Japanese defender so far this season, it is undeniable that the return of a player who is a natural in the position will come as a very welcome boost for the 40-year-old manager.
Despite starting just four Premier League fixtures this term – making a further eight appearances from the bench – the £22m-rated talent has nevertheless impressed, helping his side keep one clean sheet, as well as making an average of 1.2 tackles, one interception, one clearance and winning 2.2 duels – at a success rate of 56% – per game.
Those statistics were boosted by a hugely influential display out of position at left-back when the Japan defender ‘pocketed‘ a certain Mo Salah during their victory over Liverpool, a performance that demonstrated his importance to Arteta’s side.
The £55k-per-week full-back has also caught the eye over his six appearances in the Europa League, once again helping the Gunners keep one clean sheet and registering one assist, in addition to making an average of 1.7 tackles, 0.5 interceptions, 1.2 clearances and winning 3.5 duels – at a success rate of 75% – per fixture.
As such, with Arsenal undoubtedly hoping to maintain a title charge, a European cup run and victory in domestic cups for as long as possible this season, squad rotation will be absolutely key for Arteta as the campaign goes on, leading us to believe that Tomiyasu’s return after the World Cup will come as big boost to the Spaniard and his side.