Wins over Crystal Palace and Leicester City have brought the feel-good factor back to the Emirates Stadium, and with the Spaniard adding quality to his team with the summer signings of Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Fabio Viera, there is a real sense of optimism around N5.
The performance against Leicester showcased Arsenal’s new-found attacking talents, with Jesus netting twice and grabbing two assists as SofaScore gave him a rating of 8.9, the best of anyone on the pitch.
However, they weren’t as rock solid defensively as they had been against Crystal Palace the previous week, with a few poor performers against the Foxes. Playing out of position at right-back, Ben White received a 6.4 rating and was the joint second-worst Arsenal player on the day.
With that in mind, Arteta should unleash Japanese right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu against Bournemouth this evening in place of White. With the Englishman not a natural full-back, the balance of the team wasn’t the most ideal in their win over Leicester.
Tomiyasu came on for White for the final 15 minutes last Saturday and received a 6.5 rating from SofaScore, better than what the ex-Brighton defender managed in his 75 minutes of action.
The Japan international completed 88% of his passes in his cameo appearance and had ten touches. He only lost possession once, whereas White gave up the ball 11 times against Leicester, which suggests that the right-hand side was a weakness for Arsenal.
The 23-year-old impressed in his first season at the Emirates, averaging a WhoScored rating of 6.83 (ranking him fifth in the Gunners’ squad) while also winning 2.2 aerial duels per match, more than any of his current team-mates.
Former Arsenal captain Tony Adams had nothing but praise for Tomiyasu following one of his first matches for the team, describing him as “excellent” in last September’s win over Tottenham, and the £56k-p/w gem certainly looks like a more logical option at right-back than White.
With that in mind, Arteta must unleash Tomiyasu against Bournemouth this evening as Arsenal aim for three wins on the bounce, which would take them top of the Premier League overnight if they can leave the Vitality Stadium with all three points.