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Mikel Arteta rates Takehiro Tomiyasu debut after Arsenal beat Norwich City


Takehiro Tomiyasu made his debut as Arsenal beat Norwich City (Reuters)

Mikel Arteta praised Takehiro Tomiyasu after the defender made his debut in Arsenal’s victory over Norwich City on Saturday.

The Gunners completed an €18 million (£15.5m) deal to sign the 22-year-old from Bologna on deadline day.

Tomiyasu had only trained with his new Arsenal teammates since Thursday but the Japan international started at right-back for the Gunners’ first game back after the international break.

And Arteta was pleased with what he saw from Arsenal’s new signing as his side registered their first win of the new Premier League season.

When asked to give his verdict on Tomiyasu’s debut, Arteta said: ‘Really positive.

‘Just the first impression when you met him, it was just joy and happiness and good energy.

Takehiro Tomiyasu started at right-back and was substituted in the 62nd minute (Getty)

‘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.’

Arteta also praised Sambi Lokonga for making himself available for the win over Norwich City despite struggling with a hamstring problem.

‘Thomas wasn’t fit enough to play the 90 minutes and we didn’t want to take another risk with him,’ said Arteta.

‘Sambi came in from Belgium with a tight hamstring and only trained half a day. The way we wanted to play, we didn’t have options because players were injured or suspended in midfield and we were really short because Emile wasn’t available to play either.

‘[Sambi] made a big effort to play here and that is one of the reasons when I tell you how much these boys want to do it and nobody is hiding in difficult moments, they just want to get over the line and he showed a good example.’

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