‘I’ll even play striker!’ – Takehiro Tomiyasu sends message to Mikel Arteta over his best position for Arsenal

The versatile defender can play a host of different roles (Pictures: Arsenal / Getty)

Arsenal new boy Takehiro Tomiyasu has made it clear he has zero preference over his best position and would even be willing to play up front if Mikel Arteta asked him to.

The Japan international, who can play in a host of different roles across the back-line, lined up at right-back in the north London club’s 1-0 victory over Norwich City on Saturday.

In addition to being able to play as a full-back on either flank, Tomiyasu has also played extensively in the centre of defence during his time with Bologna as well as for the national team.

Tomiyasu gave a very promising display on his debut vs Norwich (Picture: Getty)

There have been suggestions that the 22-year-old’s best position is as a centre-back – particularly in a back three – but Tomiyasu insists he is happy to play anywhere as long as he is on the pitch.

Asked where he sees his best position during his first interview with the club, Tomiyasu replied: ‘For me it doesn’t matter because the most important thing is to play in the game.

‘So if the coach told me like, “You have to play striker” then I’ll play striker. So, yeah, for me it doesn’t matter which position I play.’

On what Arsenal fans can expect from him, he added: ‘I can play with both feet, I can play every position as a defender. And I’m an intelligent player so I can always read the next situation.’

Tomiyasu gave a very solid display as Arsenal recorded their first clean sheet of the Premier League season, winning seven of his eight aerial duels, and Arteta was very happy with what he saw.

Asked to give his verdict on the Japanese defender’s debut, the Arsenal boss said: ‘Really positive. Just the first impression when you met him, it was just joy and happiness and good energy.

‘The moment he steps on the pitch he was really focused, determined, he understands the role really good.

‘He was cramping. Obviously he only trained a day and a half with us, he had to travel, and emotionally it was his first game and we had to take him off.’

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