Premier League • England

Fabrizio Romano reveals Arteta crucial in preventing damaging Arsenal exit amid Euro giant swoop

Gabriel Magalhaes, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Gabriel Jesus, Arsenal

Arsenal trio Gabriel Magalhaes, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Gabriel Jesus

Arsenal could have lost defender Takehiro Tomiyasu in the summer, but Mikel Arteta and Edu Gaspar played a key role in blocking his exit, according to transfer insider Fabrizio Romano.

Tomiyasu looks set to start more regularly for Arsenal in the coming weeks after a change in circumstances. Arteta has generally been selecting Ben White at right-back and Oleksandr Zinchenko at left-back this season, but the latter struggled during the 2-2 draw with Chelsea on Saturday.

After picking up a yellow card in the first half, Zinchenko was hauled off at the break and this allowed Tomiyasu to come in. While Zinchenko had struggled to deal with Chelsea’s lively attackers, Tomiyasu helped to keep them at bay with some excellent one-vs-one defending.

Tomiyasu’s impressive second-half display at Stamford Bridge saw Arteta put him into the starting eleven for the Champions League trip to Sevilla on Tuesday.

Not only was the Japan international solid in defence in that game, but he also got forward often and managed to help left winger Gabriel Martinelli in several attacks.

However, things could have been far different for Tomiyasu. On August 11, reports in Italy claimed Inter were preparing a €20million (£17.4m) offer to sign the versatile defender.

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At the time, it was not clear how accurate that report was, as the transfer rumour did not pick up much pace. However, in an interview with CaughtOffside, Romano has confirmed that Inter were hoping to take Tomiyasu to Serie A in the summer.

But Arsenal fans will be delighted as Arteta and Edu prevented the in-form 24-year-old from leaving the Emirates.

Fabrizio Romano provides insight on Takehiro Tomiyasu

“Takehiro Tomiyasu is another player earning praise for his recent performances and although I don’t currently have any information on the possibility of a new contract soon, Arsenal are very happy with his performances,” the journalist said.

“I can also reveal that Inter Milan wanted Tomiyasu in July but Arsenal said no; Mikel Arteta and Edu wanted to keep him and it was clearly a successful decision, he’s really appreciated at the club and is really showing his value and versatility at the moment.”

Romano went on to discuss a potential new deal for Tomiyasu’s full-back counterpart, White.

“I mentioned recently that Arsenal’s next priority for a new contract, after renewing the likes of Martin Odegaard, Bukayo Saka and William Saliba in the last few months, will be Ben White,” he added.

“Some fans have been asking me for updates but at the moment talks are still ongoing, let’s see when we have final steps of the negotiation.”

It seems Arsenal made the correct decision when rejecting Inter’s approach for Tomiyasu, as he now looks set to usurp Zinchenko as Arteta’s first-choice left-back.

Arsenal hero Ian Wright has already explained why Zinchenko is struggling in comparison with his top performances last season.

White, meanwhile, is the next Gunners man set to be rewarded with a bumper new contract.

Elsewhere, Gary Neville has sent Arteta a major warning, with a ‘problem brewing’ at Arsenal due to one of the manager’s decisions.