Arsenal have made a late dash to sign Takehiro Tomiyasu from Bologna despite the player mostly being linked with Tottenham all summer.
Arsenal needed a right back and a late scramble took place on deadline day after Ainsley Maitland-Niles made it clear he wanted to join Everton. Then Arsenal sorted that out, decided to keep Maitland-Niles and still signed Tomiyasu.
Welcome to The Arsenal, Takehiro Tomiyasu 🇯🇵 pic.twitter.com/trL4Wq7zXW
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 31, 2021
At the time of writing, it’s not quite clear what has happened at Arsenal but it looks like (total conjecture), Arsenal wanted Ainsley Maitland-Niles to replace Hector Bellerin after their move for Emerson Royal collapsed on Saturday.
Arsenal and Real Betis in talks over a move for Hector Bellerin but it's far from a done deal. There had also been negotiations with Barcelona over an Emerson swap deal but that ultimately collapsed on Saturday. He's now set to join Spurs.
— James Benge (@jamesbenge) August 31, 2021
By that point, perhaps after a word with Alex Iwobi, Maitland-Niles had already decided on Everton. Taking to social media to express his displeasure, there were also reports, unsubstantiated, that was put on the naughty step at the club.
Tomiyasu is comfortable playing right-back and centre-back. As a result, he can play on the right-hand side in a back four, but also in the right of a three.
Arsenal have been quietly pursuing Tomiyasu for a while now, with reports in July that they were in talks with Bologna over a potential deal. That being said, it has been very quiet for most of the window with no reports between the ones in July and today’s news.
Tomiyasu is 22 and will cost around €20m plus €3m in bonuses. He has signed a four-year deal and will wear the number 18 shirt.
Technical director Edu said: “We’re delighted to have signed Takehiro. We’ve been watching him for a while now and we’re pleased that we have reached an agreement with Bologna. He is an important addition to our squad.”
Mikel Arteta added: “Takehiro is a strong defender with good experience in Serie A and at international level. He’s a versatile defender with great defensive qualities, high technical ability and composure on the ball. He will be an important member of our squad. We look forward to Takehiro joining up with us when he returns from international duty.”