Arsenal are in advanced talks with Bologna over a transfer move for Japanese right back Takehiro Tomiyasu, per The Athletic. The 22-year old is expected to complete a medical in Italy before traveling to London to sign with the Gunners later today should the two clubs reach an agreement on sale terms. The fullback made 31 appearances last season for the Italian club and can play centerback, on the right side of a back three, or as a traditional right back.
UPDATE: Fabrizio Romano is reporting the deal is complete - €20M + €3M in add-ons. David Ornstein reporting that completing the deal is contingent on resolving Hector Bellerin and Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ situations.
Tomiyasu has reportedly been on the Gunners radar all summer but was more of a target for Tottenham. Once Spurs signed Emerson from Barcelona, their interest cooled and the Gunners stepped in.
Per James Benge, Tomiyasu has impressive defensive numbers. For all of Serie A, he was 10th in aerial duels, 11th in clearances, 21st in interceptions, had just one error leading to a shot, and no errors leading to goals. He doesn’t offer much going forward, but the Arsenal attack flows down the left-hand side much more than it does the right anyway.
He seems a very good fit for an Arsenal defense that while gifted on the ball / going forward might lack a bit of defensive quality. Given Ben White’s weakness in the air, Tomiyasu’s aerial prowess makes him a fantastic complement on the right side. And more generally, Tomiyasu’s error-free play would be a welcome relief for a defense that we’ve become so used to watching make mental mistake after mental mistake.