Takehiro Tomiyasu has admitted that he nearly joined Tottenham before ultimately signing for Arsenal on deadline day.
Arsenal snapped Tomiyasu up from Bologna for £16 million ($22m) on the final day of the summer transfer window, with the 22-year-old committing to a four-year deal at Emirates Stadium.
The 22-year-old defender has made a strong start to his Gunners career, but has now revealed that he almost ended up at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium instead of linking up with Mikel Arteta's side on the red half of north London.
What's been said?
“I thought I wasn’t able to join Arsenal,” Tomiyasu has told DAZN Japan. “I thought I was going to Spurs.
"On deadline day, the move broke down. Arsenal asked me to join them and I did immediately.”
Why did Arsenal target Tomiyasu?
Tomiyasu emerged on Arteta's radar as the Arsenal boss sought to strengthen his options at right-back following a difficult start to the 2021-22 campaign.
The Japan international was also targeted due to his versatility as he is capable of operating as a centre-half, and has already provided valuable cover for fellow summer signing Ben White in that position.
White recently talked up Tomiyasu's talents in an interview with Astro SuperSport, saying: "He’s such a nice guy. He fitted straight in when he came. All the boys love him and he’s doing the business on the pitch as well. He is doing really well.”
Tomiyasu's record at Arsenal so far
Tomiyasu has appeared in seven of Arsenal's first ten Premier League fixtures this season, with all of those outings coming as a starter.
The former Bologna star has yet to register a goal or assist, but could have another chance to shine when Arteta's side play host to Watford on Sunday.