Arsenal must beat north London rivals Spurs to the signing of Bologna centre-back Takehiro Tomiyasu this summer.
Reports in recent weeks have suggested that Arsenal are in talks to sign Ben White from fellow Premier League side Brighton, but it now appears the club have got their eye on another versatile defender.
According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Mikel Arteta’s Gunners are battling Spurs for the signing of Tomiyasu, and that they are talking to Serie A side Bologna to find an agreement.
Just like Koscielny was in his prime, Tomiyasu is as reliable as they come, and doesn’t often let opponents go past him, with his combination of strength, speed and reading of the game.
His current teammate at the Stadio Renato Dall’Ara, Mitchell Dijks, dubbed him “very strong” and a “true Japanese warrior” at a press conference, via Tuttosport.
In fact, speaking about the defender’s potential, former Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni said: “He is a complete player and Bologna got a real bargain with Tomiyasu. He’s a good player and was compared to Maya Yoshida, who has been playing in Europe for a decade. He’s got the quality to be a real star.”
Reports in recent weeks have suggested that the Brighton defender has a valuation of around the £50m mark, but when you compare the two, Tomiyasu favours well.
According to FBREF, the 6 ft 2 defender is extremely competent in one on one duels – as per 90 minutes, Tomiyasu tackled 56.7% of players who attempted to dribble past him in Serie A, significantly better than White’s 37.5%.
The Japan international also boasts a far better successful pressure percentage (ie closing down opponents), while he is considerably better on the ball too.
He had a higher successful dribble percentage, made progressive carries, and had a better pass accuracy over both short and long passes – and it’s those stats both on and off the ball that are also eerily reminiscent of Koscielny.
A profile done on the Frenchman by Sky Sports back in 2016 read: “His reading of the game, his anticipation of opponents and his positional awareness are excellent. Koscielny is as accomplished with the ball as he is without it, boasting an average pass completion rate of 91.37 per cent in the Premier League over the last two seasons.”
Tomiyasu has everything in his locker to be a new Koscielny for Arsenal and be a better signing for the Gunners than White.