The two have very contrasting styles, though, and it was felt that the former Chelsea defender could be targeted by aerial crosses at the back post due to his lack of height, with the same problem true of Norwich City’s Max Aarons who was also briefly considered.
But the tall and rangy Tomiyasu has no such issues and Arteta has now confirmed that Arsenal were particularly attracted to his ability to also play as a centre-back and as part of a back three.
‘We followed him for a while,’ Arteta told the club’s official website following a behind-closed-doors friendly victory over Brentford on Thursday.
‘We needed a full back who could be very versatile, can play as a centre back, can play in a back three and Tomi has this capacity.
‘He is 22 years old but he has some really good experience in Serie A and at international level and with the qualities we are looking for.’
On the young profile of Arsenal’s signings, Arteta continued: ‘Yes, different experiences, some had experience in the league, some abroad, and some have been coached in other ways, but they are players we have followed for a long time that we knew could fit in the model we are trying to implement at the club. So we are pleased.’
Asked how he intends to integrate the new arrivals, he added: ‘Again, it is 16/17 changes to the squad – it is a lot. You have to blend them all together, some of them haven’t even trained with us yet because they have still to come in the next week or so.
‘As quick as possible. We have a good group, they will help them to adapt as quick as possible and get them to work with us and see when we can integrate all together.’
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