Takehiro Tomiyasu claims Arsenal team-mate Ben White does not pass to him because he is a very good player… and that he would replicate the centre-back’s style of play in a similar position
- Ben White appears to avoid passing to Arsenal team-mate Takehiro Tomiyasu
- But Tomiyasu is keen to point out this is good practice for a centre-back
- Duo have been key to Arsenal’s resurgence in the Premier League this season
Arsenal right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu believes there is no malice behind the notion of his Gunners team-mate Ben White not passing to him.
Eagled-eyed Arsenal fans have noticed that centre-back and £50million signing White has often neglected to pass to his fellow summer arrival Tomiyasu during games.
But Tomiyasu, who joined from Bologna for £17million at the end of August, believes it shows the strong defensive mind of the 24-year-old and his ability to read the game.
Ben White (right) has been accused of not passing to Arsenal team-mate Takehiro Tomiyasu
The duo have been key parts of a team enjoying a resurgence this term in challenging for a Champions League place under manager Mikel Arteta.
Tomiyasu said: ‘It is because Ben White is a good player. Often, passes from the centre back to the full-backs become ‘pressure passes’.
‘I play centre back too, and simple passes to the full-backs are actually the last option I consider. If the full-back is not under opposition pressure I will play the pass, but if the winger is right in front, you’ll end up caught by the press.
‘So Ben White is a good player who doesn’t play passes that put you under pressure.’
The duo have formed a good defensive partnership at a resurgent Arsenal this season
Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa is thought to have coached White’s defensive traits
Theories had developed that White simply did not trust the Japanese international on the pitch as they settled into life at Arsenal together.
But a more likely explanation is that the aspect of the game was coached into him by Marcelo Bielsa.
White played under the Leeds boss while on loan at the Championship club during their promotion to the top flight in the 2019-20 season, and the Argentine boss is thought to dislike the idea of his centre-backs playing square passes to the full-back areas.
Tomiyasu has so far started every match for Arteta in the Premier League since joining at the end of August missing only 28 minutes of action in his 13 appearances after being substituted in September’s 1-0 win over Norwich on his debut.
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