Arsenal completed the £20million signing of Japan international Takehiro Tomiyasu on transfer deadline day.
The Gunners secured their sixth signing of the summer with just a few hours remaining until the deadline on Tuesday evening.
Tomiyasu, who was linked with a move to Tottenham throughout the summer, is a versatile defender, who was used at centre-back and right-back during his time with Italian club Bologna.
The 22-year-old defender will be largely unknown to some Arsenal fans, the ones who didn’t watch Bologna on a regular basis anyway, but he has been compared to one of this generation’s greatest midfield players.
According to The Athletic, who wrote a story on the Japan international’s rise to prominence, he was sent to a Barcelona training camp when he was just 11-years-old, but failed to secure a deal with the La Liga club.
Then after returning from the camp, it is said that Tomiyasu ended up being compared to Barcelona legend Sergio Busquets having played as a centre-back and in defensive midfield.
Former assistant manager of Tomiyasu’s old club Sint-Truiden (STVV), Issame Charai, drew comparisons to Busquets, but according to the same report, he now thinks his playing style is similar to Lilian Thuram’s.
Mikel Arteta, when asked about his new £20million signing following Thursday’s behind-closed-doors friendly win against Brentford, opened up on how the club have been monitoring the Japan star for a while.
Arteta said: “Again, we followed him for a while. We needed a full back who could be very versatile, can play as a centre back, can play in a back three, Tomi has this capacity.
“He is 22 years old but he has some really good experience in Serie A and at international level and with the qualities we are looking for.”