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New Arsenal hero Takehiro Tomiyasu draws remarkable Cristiano Ronaldo comparisons
02/10/2021 11:01:13

Takehiro Tomiyasu has emerged as an unlikely gem in the Arsenal XI, but this comes as no surprise to his former sporting director who claims he has a " Cristiano Ronaldo mentality".

Tomiyasu has made the right-back spot his own since joining from Bologna for a relatively-modest fee of £17million on deadline day.

His arrival in the team has contributed to an upturn in form, with the Gunners winning three consecutive Premier League games to put their dismal start to the season firmly behind them.

Tomiyasu is only 22 but his career has already taken him from his native Japan to Belgium and then to Italy before his move to Arsenal.

Pro League club Sint-Truiden were the team who saw his potential as a teenager, signing him from Avispa Fukuoka in January 2018.

Tomiyasu would go on to win Sint-Truiden's player of the year award after making 40 appearances in the 2018/19 campaign, prompting Bologna to stump up £8million for his services that summer.

Throughout his one-and-a-half year stint in Belgium, Sint-Truiden's sporting director could not help but notice Tomiyasu's dedication which regularly went far beyond the call of duty.

Andre Pinto goes so far as to compare the youngster to Manchester United and Portugal legend Ronaldo, who is famed for his tireless work at the training ground.

"What is amazing about Tomi is that he doesn’t accept anything that isn’t success," Pinto told Goal . "He’s not lucky, nothing for Tomi comes because he’s lucky. He’s just a hard working player.

"You find a lot of dedicated players, but Tomi has a little bit of the Cristiano Ronaldo mentality in terms of determination, in terms of working hard and in terms of eating healthy.

"He is the type of player who is never satisfied. He will always continue to work hard to keep developing himself."

How has Tomiyasu impacted Arsenal?

Arsenal were a mess defensively as they fell to defeats by Brentford, Chelsea and Manchester City in their first three games of the season by a combined scoreline of 9-0.

Calum Chambers and Cedric Soares were exposed at right-back and this contributed to the shaky form of new £50million centre-half Ben White.

Tomiyasu has played a vital role in steadying the ship, with his 6'2" presence at right-back giving White the physical back-up he needed.

The results speak for themselves, as Arsenal kept back-to-back clean sheets against Norwich City and Burnley and conceded only a late consolation goal in their thumping victory over Tottenham.

Mikel Arteta's tactical set-up with Tomiyasu in his side is clear: as the 24-cap Japan international is also well-versed as a centre-back, he tucks into central defence when Arsenal are in possession to allow the more attack-minded Kieran Tierney to maraud up the left flank.

So far this has proved very effective, and Tomiyasu is certainly living up to his lofty billing in north London.

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