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Implications for Saliba? Arsenal’s Tomiyasu shows off impressive versatility for Japan

Implications for Saliba? Arsenal’s Tomiyasu shows off impressive versatility for Japan

Tomiyasu displays tactical versatility on international duty

New Arsenal defender” target=”_blank” rel=”noopener noreferrer”>Takehiro Tomiyasu

has added another notch in his belt as the Japanese international featured for Samurai Blue against Saudi Arabia tonight at left center back.

Billed as a right-back after his highly successful spell at Serie A outfit Bologna across two seasons in Emilia-Romagna, the Fukuoka-native has double the appearances in the heart of defense during his time at every single club he has featured at.

Implications for Saliba? Arsenal’s Tomiyasu shows off impressive versatility for Japan

OSAKA, JAPAN – JULY 12: Takehiro Tomiyasu of Japan is seen during the U-24 international friendly match between Japan and Honduras at the Yodoko Sakura Stadium on July 12, 2021 in Osaka, Japan. (Photo by Koji Watanabe/Getty Images)

For Japan, Tomiyasu features exclusively as a center-back despite his future at Arsenal revolving around being deployed as a right-back for the time being.

But with Tomiyasu featuring as a left center back in a back three, there is scope to suggest that his versatility on display for his country offers further options at the back for Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta depending on the availability of the likes of Gabriel and Pablo Mari.

How could this affect William Saliba in the future?

With the recent news that Arsenal are set to put faith in William Saliba for the long term, questions could be asked whether or not the French youth international will come back to the club next summer ready to walk into the Gunners first-team may now be levied after how Tomiyasu has settled.

Implications for Saliba? Arsenal’s Tomiyasu shows off impressive versatility for Japan

NICE, FRANCE – AUGUST 22: William Saliba of Marseille during the Ligue 1 match between OGC Nice (OGCN) and Olympique de Marseille (OM) at Allianz Riviera Stadium on August 22, 2021 in Nice, France. (Photo by John Berry/Getty Images)

Saliba has featured prominently on loan for Olympique de Marseille this season as OM sit 5th in Ligue 1 after eight match days, with the former AS Saint-Étienne youth product starting seven of the eight fixtures.

But with the defensive partnerships forming between Gabriel, Ben White, and the aforementioned Tomiyasu – with all capable in a back four as well as a back three – Saliba’s pathway to influential minutes at Arsenal could certainly come under threat.

This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 22 41 56
2 Liverpool FC 21 37 45
3 Chelsea FC 22 28 43
4 West Ham United 22 11 37
5 Arsenal FC 20 8 35
6 Tottenham Hotspur 18 3 33
7 Manchester United 20 3 32
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 20 2 31
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 20 0 28
10 Leicester City 18 -2 25
11 Crystal Palace 21 -1 24
12 Southampton FC 21 -8 24
13 Aston Villa 20 -5 23
14 Brentford FC 21 -9 23
15 Leeds United 20 -15 22
16 Everton FC 19 -10 19
17 Watford FC 19 -14 14
18 Norwich City 21 -35 13
19 Newcastle United 20 -23 12
20 Burnley FC 17 -11 11

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Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Fernandes, Bruno Manchester United 7
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Bowen, Jarrod West Ham United 6
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Ward Prowse, James Southampton FC 6