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'He starts against West Ham': Journalist thinks Arteta is about to bring 'fantastic' Arsenal man into his team

Takehiro Tomiyasu will start for Arsenal against West Ham United this weekend, according to journalist Charles Watts.

Tomiyasu made his injury comeback as a substitute in Saturday’s 3-1 win over Manchester United, and got a huge ovation from the fans.

The Japanese international is already a fan favourite because of his no-nonsense style and his return is a huge boost for manager Mikel Arteta.

Watts said on YouTube that he expects the defender to start against David Moyes’ men, coming in for Cedric Soares on the right of the back four.

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“Takehiro Tomiyasu came back and got a really good reception against Man United at the weekend,” he said.

“Fantastic to see him back. Loved that little movement down the right to draw Cristiano Ronaldo in and get Ronaldo a booking as well. It’s brilliant news that he’s back.

“Cedric has done very, very well in his absence, fair play to him but Tomiyasu, if he’s fully fit, plays 100%. He’ll have another week of training this week and I think he starts against West Ham. I’ll be very, very surprised if he doesn’t.

“You have the option of playing him left back. He did that a lot in Italy, he’s very, very two-footed. There is the option there, I know Nuno has been erratic. Potentially Cedric could keep his place but I’m not sure that’ll happen. Tomiyasu, if he’s fully fit, he plays right back on Sunday.”

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Tomiyasu return hands Arsenal boost at ideal time

Arteta has had to patch his thin squad up and push them through the most crucial period of the season and as Watts said, Cedric does deserve credit.

But Tomiyasu is on another level to the Portugal international and the only reason he wouldn’t start at the weekend is if his injury needs managing carefully.

It remains to be seen whether West Ham make changes with the match coming in between both legs of their Europa League semi-final.

Moyes made changes against Chelsea on Sunday with that game in mind and it would almost be a surprise if he does not do the same again, with Europe the priority.

That should hand Arsenal an opportunity, but whether Tomiyasu starts or not, they have to go out there and get the job done.

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