Takehiro Tomiyasu could take back his starting berth on Sunday when Arsenal travel to the London Stadium to take on West Ham as they look to boost their top-four hopes
Bukayo Saka has hinted that Takehiro Tomiyasu will make his long-awaited return to Arsenal’s starting line-up against West Ham.
The Japanese defender’s brilliant debut season has been derailed by a calf injury he picked up at the turn of the year. Cedric has been operating at right-back in his absence from him, but the defender returned to action following a three-month spell on the sidelines during the Gunners’ 3-1 win over Manchester United last weekend as he climbed off the bench for the Portuguese full-back.
And it seems that Tomiyasu could take back his starting berth on Sunday when Arsenal travel to the London Stadium to take on the Hammers as they look to boost their top-four hopes. Saka dropped a clue that Mikel Arteta would give the nod to the 23-year-old by substituting Cedric out of his Fantasy Premier League team for Chelsea’s Marcus Alonso.
Arsenal fans spotted the England star’s decision speculating that it means Tomiyasu will be included in the starting XI against David Moyes’ men. Tomiyasu has emerged as an instant fan favorite following his Deadline Day move from Bologna last summer for a reported £17million.
He was named Arsenal’s Player of the Month in September as he cemented his place in Arteta’s side before picking up a calf injury that has kept him out for three months. Arteta was asked if the Japan international was ready to start against the Hammers during his pre-match press conference but he wasn’t giving too much away.
“You only know that when a player’s been out for a long spell when you put him on the pitch,” the Spaniard responded. “He hasn’t started any matches yet. He’s lacked a bit of time on the pitch so it’s a decision we will make tomorrow.”
Tomiyasu could easily replace Nuno Tavares at left-back hiwever with Kieran Tierney ruled out for the rest of the season after Arteta praised his versatility.
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“Well, when we follow the player and we identify him as one of the candidates, obviously it is one of the things that I came across and it gives you a lot of solutions,” the Arsenal manager revealed.
“Not only because he can use both feet, but he can play right centre-back, left centre-back, he can play left-back so that gives you enormous variability and it’s the way they’ve been raised and coached since a really young age, that’s what he says so for him, left and right is the same.”