The participation of Bukayo Saka, Gabriel Martinelli, Declan Rice, and Leandro Trossard in the Arsenal manager’s squad for Saturday’s trip to Bournemouth is all in question.
William Saliba also sustained an injury that prevented him from playing in the midweek victory against Brentford, Arteta disclosed at the pregame press conference.
Given his success in both full-back positions already this season, Tomiyasu may well play alongside Gabriel at the centre of Arsenal’s defence if the France international is unable to recover in time.
The former Bologna defender’s first two Premier League seasons were both negatively impacted by injury, but now that he’s in top shape, Arteta is overjoyed to have Tomiyasu available frequently.
Tomi’s consistency will be a huge advantage for us, therefore I always say that I’m incredibly confident when he displays it, said Arteta. We don’t have a player like him; he can play in any backline position and in any backline configuration.
“His defending is arguably among the greatest I’ve seen in a variety of circumstances. His guiding ideas, how he puts them into practise, and how he approaches combat.
He needs a stretch of games to get physically in top shape right now. We’ll have a player that will be so crucial for us when Tomi is performing at his peak.
“Especially the way he reads danger and the way he responds calmly and appropriately to urgent situations.”
He is a talented defender, but because of the way he is constructed, he is a tremendously complete player who is challenging to run past.
He has good parenting and education, and he is constantly intensely focused. That’s a significant quality for our defence.