I was not blown away when the deadline day signing of Takehiro Tomiyasu was announced. He wasn't someone that was highly touted as an up-and-coming full-back talent and played more like a center-back (in fact he played a good amount of center-back in Italy and for Japan) than my preference for a marauding attacking full-back.
I will come out and say that my initial skepticism has been shown to have not been warranted.
He will never check the boxes as a winger who just starts a bit deeper type of full-back but in this current Mikel Arteta system (and to a certain extent in modern tactics) that is not something that teams will deploy on both sides of their formations. Instead what Arsenal have gotten is a very good defender, an excellent outlet in the buildup, a very good technical player who can help as an auxiliary midfielder, and a competent (maybe even slightly better) attacking third player.
He may not have the prettiest radar but I think as we dig into his stats we will come away with his importance to Arsenal this season.