Before Takehiro Tomiyasu had forayed into the Premier League, speculations were rife regarding his capabilities, especially after Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol had spoken about the Japanese in sceptical terms.
Tomiyasu was adjudged to be neither a right-back nor a centre back, as explained by Solhekol during a show last summer before his move from Bologna.
The reporter had said – “I’ve just got a message to say: Tomiyasu was offered to most clubs in the Premier League. He’s a good player but the problem is he’s not really a right-back, nor is he a central defender. I’m not sure how he will get on at Arsenal.”
God, this banter era is the greatest of all time pic.twitter.com/iebPMh8FGd— respawnedtargaryen (@respawnedtarga1) August 31, 2021
Solhekol’s snide remarks, however, haven’t stood the test of time.
Not only did Tomiyasu prove to be one of Arsenal’s best summer signings, but the Japanese has also become a mainstay of the north London outfit, having played in every game of the season so far.
In fact, in their recent 4-1 outing against Leeds, Tomiyasu produced a moment of brilliance that proved Solhekol was wrong, and then some.
Defending against an attack from inside his own box, the 23-year-old was first seen covering the goal as if a centre-back, and then competing with Joe Gelhardt for the ball on the far side before charging down the flanks to initiate an attack.
Tomiyasu’s dedication was immense, and his ability to play in both the positions Solhekol had questioned back in August was evident enough.
Tomiyasu is not a right back or he’s a central defender 🤡 pic.twitter.com/XYh3w03cZ4— G’Rav 🔴⚪🇮🇳 (@GouravGr24) December 19, 2021
His battling display was a hit among Gooners, who were quick to chime in with sarcastic comments of their own.
“Kaveh was always right”, said one supporter, mockingly alluding to the reporter’s remark about the Japanese, who could clearly fill the role of a centre-back as much as a right-back.
Tomiyasu covering the goal as CB and then bolting as a fullback to start an attack. Kaveh was always right. He is both CB as well as RB. What a signing. pic.twitter.com/ndDfYhZcWE— Kris (@Santi_Classorla) December 20, 2021