Japanese international Takehiro Tomiyasu arrived at the Emirates from Bologna this summer, and since then has established a starting berth under Mikel Arteta, making a combined appearance of 13 in the league so far.
Primarily deployed as a right-back, Tomiyasu has drawn praise for his versatility and energy, with fans lauding his involvement during the team’s build-up plays.
However, many have also noticed a glaring peculiarity in the Japanese’s gameplay, one which involves his defensive partner at the back.
Tomiyasu’s English teammate Ben White doesn’t seem to make passes to the Japanese during build-up plays from the back, an observation which became a matter of huge discussion back in Japan.
However, appearing in a recent interview for DAZN Japan (via Reddit), the former Bologna player proffered an altogether different explanation behind the matter.
When asked to comment on White’s “suspicious’ ‘ play, the 23-year-old seemed to insinuate that it was because the England centre-back is a good player.
“Often, passes from the centre back to the full-backs become ‘pressure passes’,” said the Japanese.
“I play centre back too, and simple passes to the side backs are actually the last option I consider.”
“Ben White is a good player who doesn’t play passes that put you under pressure.”
Multiple conjectures as to why White didn’t pass the ball to Tomiyasu abounded, one of which even holds a certain weight, despite the recent revelation.
White prefers to play the ball up the field rather than out wide, gameplay he presumably developed during his time at Leeds under Marcelo Bielsa, who doesn’t necessarily prefer centre-backs making passes to the side backs.
Whatever the precise reason, Tomiyasu seems to believe in White’s decision making and style of play.
And whatever the dynamics between the two defenders, there’s no denying that the duo have been instrumental in whatever Arsenal has so far achieved this season.