Tottenham’s endless quest to rejuvenate its defense continues this summer, with Bologna’s Takehiro Tomiyasu the latest man tasked with cleaning things up.
With Toby Alderweireld wanting out, Joe Rodon is still showing signs of inexperience and both Eric Dier and Davinson Sanchez are doing little more than exist (poorly), fixing on the back is one of the first jobs that Nuno Espirito Santo has to deal with. And a £ 15m move for Tomiyasu seems to be the latest answer.
Tomiyasu will cost Spurs £ 15m / Marco Canoniero / Getty Images
Sevilla’s Jules Kounde was more than happy to humiliate the Spurs by rejecting them due to their lack of European prospects, but Tomiyasu is more than willing to take the step in an attempt to take his exciting career to the next level.
The 22-year-old Japan international may not come with the same hype as Kounde or other goals like Milan Skriniar, but that does not mean he is not up to the job.
In today’s positionless brand of football, Tomiyasu is almost the perfect defender. A hybrid of a center back and a right back, the kid usually does not choose a role and instead tries to mix them both together.
With both Bologna and Japan, Tomiyasu has been seen blowing down both wings and putting crosses in the box by using his impressive vision to identify the right moment to move forward and when to stay.
Overlapping midfielders are rage today. Chris Wilder introduced them to the Premier League with Sheffield United and managers across the country have taken it in their own game. We saw it a lot from Thomas Tuchel’s Chelsea when they roared to Champions League glory in the same three-man line-up that Nuno is expected to use at Spurs.
With that said, he will never pretend to be the best attacking defender. He’s not the most comfortable when it comes to beating a man from the dribbling and he may be a little guilty of having played a little safe sometimes, but let’s not forget that this is a midfielder we are talking about.
Tomiyasu is more than willing to engage in attacks and has enough of him to force opposition defenders to worry about him. He is always looking for a progressive pass and has enough of him to complete most of them.
Bologna defender Takehiro Tomiyasu ROCKETS one in the top corner! ?
What a hit! ? pic.twitter.com/MWOn0IwWtI
– Premier Sports? (@PremierSportsTV) July 18, 2020
Nuno hopes to see a lot of it from Tomiyasu, but there will be times when his job will be to defend, and that is not a problem for the Japan international, who is happiest when he is struggling to regain possession.
At 6’3, Tomiyasu is comfortable in the air, and his frame still looks like it might take a little more muscle to make him even more dangerous. He needs to add a little extra power, but until that happens he is more than happy to use his long body to his advantage.
With seemingly telescopic legs, Tomiyasu is great for covering ground for someone his size. He may not be the fastest, but he only needs to take one step to match two from an edge tip, and Tomiyasu knows how to angle these go-go gadget limbs to scare opponents and force them back.
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? Sinisa #Mihajloivic has decided that Takehiro #Tomiyasu will play from the front due to his natural goal ability. # WeAreOne pic.twitter.com/ZsDzkDuxk4
– Bologna FC 1909 (@ BolognaFC1909en) April 1, 2021
Because he does not actually move as fast as it may seem, Tomiyasu is excellent when it comes to dealing with changes of direction. Tricky wingers who go from left to right do not dread him because he is comfortable enough to stop a crown when needed.
Premier League winger will have a hard time getting past Tomiyasu, and they need to be careful if they do because the young defender is fantastic at regaining possession and getting his team to move forward again.
Tomiyasu has the tools to stand out under Nuno / Catherine Ivill / Getty Images
That’s the kind of signature Nuno needs. Tomiyasu will perform perfectly in the boss’s 3-5-2 formation and boasts the kind of skill set that should maximize those around him.
He will not turn 23 until November, and it is important to remember that he is still in the early stages of his career, but Tomiyasu has shown all the signs of being a plug-and-play defender who can grow into a real leader.