Takehiro Tomiyasu has opened up on the finer details of his transfer to Arsenal.
The Japanese defender, who can play at right-back or centre-back, joined the Gunners on deadline day from Bologna for a fee of £17million.
Mikel Arteta has been a long-time admirer of the 22-year-old, who had been linked with rivals Tottenham Hotspur earlier in the window due to his performances in Serie A and at the Olympic Games in his native Japan.
Tomiyasu was on duty with Japan on deadline day and has thanked his international boss, Hajima Moriyasu, for making a sacrifice that allowed him to finalise the late switch.
Japan began their World Cup qualifying campaign on Thursday, losing 1-0 in the dying embers at home to Oman.
Masashi Hara/FIFA via Getty Images)
Their star defender was given permission by Moriyasu to miss the match and ensure his transfer went through.
A trip to China is up next for Japan, who are pitted in a six-team group as they bid to reach Qatar in 2022.
The versatile defender began his career with local J. League outfit Avispa Fukuoka before spending a season in Belgium with St. Truiden, who paid £6.3million for the then teenager.
Bologna then snapped Tomiyasu up in 2019, where proved his credentials in one of Europe’s top five divisions, making 64 appearances over two terms in the Italy.
The 23-capped Japan international, who will wear the No.18 shirt at the Emirates, received high praise from Arteta upon the announcement of his signing late on deadline day.
“Takehiro is a strong defender with good experience in Serie A and at international level,” the Spaniard told his club’s website.
“He’s a versatile defender with great defensive qualities, high technical ability and composure on the ball.
“He will be an important member of our squad. We look forward to Takehiro joining up with us when he returns from international duty.”
Technical director Edu said: “We’re delighted to have signed Takehiro.
“We’ve been watching him for a while now and we’re pleased that we have reached an agreement with Bologna,” he added.
“He is an important addition to our squad.”
Following their behind-closed-doors 4-0 thrashing of Brentford, Arteta also told arsenal.com : “We followed him for a while.
“We needed a full back who could be very versatile, can play as a centre back, can play in a back three, Tomi has this capacity,” he stated.
“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.”