Takehiro Tomiyasu exclusive: Arsenal defender on injury frustration, his Champions League chance and more ahead of the new season

Takehiro Tomiyasu ASICSASICS

Last season was far from easy for Takehiro Tomiyasu. In his second campaign with Arsenal, the battle for a starting spot intensified after Ben White's conversion to right-back. Tomiyasu took on various roles depending on the team's situation and the opposition, and, despite these challenges, he continued to deliver reliable performances for Mikel Arteta.

However, he sustained a right knee injury in mid-March that resulted in a long-term absence. For the second consecutive year he was forced to miss the crucial final stages of the season, and ultimately did not manage to return before the Gunners' title bid came to a cruel end.

Being sidelined during the most important moment of the campaign for two years in a row, and with Arsenal ultimately losing out to Manchester City, made the year a frustrating one for Tomiyasu. He remains optimistic, though, telling GOAL: "If I can perform well in two-three years, no one will remember my current injury."

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The 24-year-old, having dived into the European stage at a young age, talks about the mentality needed to "keep fighting at the top level", and shares his thoughts on his club's fans and more in an exclusive interview, courtesy of ASICS.