Premier League • England

Arsenal benchwarmer lays down gauntlet to Ben White and states ‘I’m not satisfied’

Raphinha of Leeds United and Arsenal's Takehiro Tomiyasu battle for the ball during the Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London

Takehiro Tomiyasu has warned Ben White he is gunning for his place back at right-back and is “not satisfied” with his situation at Arsenal.

The Japan international hit the ground running last season after arriving for £16m from Bologna. In fact the 23-year-old soon became a fans’ favourite after making the right-back spot his own.

However, a injury picked up in the win at Leeds in December stopped him in his tracks. A calf injured then halted his progress at the start of the year and he ended up missing two months of action. And things did not improve for the defender in pre-season.

In fact Tomiyasu missed all of Arsenal’s pre-season friendlies and has struggled for game time with White the preferred starter at right-back.

White is naturally a centre-back, but his passing ability has seen him fit in well at full-back with William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes thhe centre-back pairing.

Tomiyasu has been used as a sub in the Premier League and has started just one game this season in the recent 2-1 win over FC Zurich in the Europa League. But the Fukuoka-born star wants more and has laid down the gauntlet at The Emirates.

“What is required in this league is quite high and I’m not satisfied,” Tomiyasu said, via Metro. “When you look at the players selected as starters in the Premier League games, you will understand what is required to be there. I will work hard in order to get my position back.”

Tomiyasu still in Arteta’s plans

Tomiyasu is certainly not out in the cold at Arsenal, in fact Mikel Arteta rates him highly. And he is well aware that the defender can slot in at centre-back and at left-back if required.

“[Tomiyasu] can play central defender as well. Tomi has been playing left centre-back for the Japan national team, when you look at his games, he is great,” said Arteta last week.

“He can play as a left-back because you could not tell if he’s a right or left-footed player. So, we have the options there and we have to utilise them in the best possible way, especially with the number of minutes we’re going to have in the next few weeks. It’s great that players are comfortable in more than one position.”

And with a busy fixture list coming up next month Tomiyasu could get his chance.

The Gunners will have nine games to play in October. Home and away to Bodo/Glimt and PSV in the Europa League, as well as Premier League games with Spurs, Liverpool, Leeds, Southampton and Nottingham Forest.

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