Why Takehiro Tomiyasu could be a good signing for West Ham
According to the London Evening Standard, West Ham have been credited with an interest in Japanese international right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu, who currently plies his trade with Italian Serie A club Bologna.
As per the source, the Hammers are looking to bring in a new full-back this summer and have set their sights on the 21-year-old, who has also been mentioned as a target for Premier League rivals Newcastle United.
Born in Fukuoka, Japan, Takehiro Tomiyasu shot to prominence with Avispa Fukuoka in his homeland, featuring in the J1 and J2 before earning a move to Belgian top-flight club Saint-Truiden in January 2018.
The 21-year-old made only a solitary appearance for Truiden during the second half of the 2017-18 season before establishing himself as a regular fixture at the Belgian club in the following campaign.
Tomiyasu ended the 2018-19 season with an impressive 41 appearances across all competitions, featuring both as a right-back and as a central defender and winning the club’s Player of the Year award.
The Japanese international was snapped up by Bologna last summer and went on to enjoy an impressive debut season in the Serie A last term, scoring once and assisting thrice in 29 league appearances.
Tomiyasu could be the answer to West Ham’s right-back woes
West Ham conceded as many as 62 goals en route to their 16th-place finish in the Premier League last season. This was the fifth-worst defensive record in the entire division. Hence, it goes without saying that the Hammers need to bring in a few fresh faces at the back.
A lack of depth in the right-back department has been a nagging issue at the London Stadium over the past couple of years. Pablo Zabaleta’s departure has further heightened the need for a fresh recruit in that area.
West Ham also lost academy prospect Jeremy Ngakia on a free transfer earlier this summer. This has left David Moyes with Ryan Fredericks as the only specialist right-back in the squad.
To that end, it’s pretty clear that West Ham need to buy their way out of trouble. Hence, bringing in a talented youngster like Takehiro Tomiyasu could be an excellent long-term investment for the club.
A potential deal for the Japanese international would ensure healthy competition for places at right-back, considering that Fredericks has had his struggles with injuries in the recent past.
Also, the 21-year-old’s versatility to operate as a centre-back and in a holding midfield role should offer Moyes with some valuable cover in multiple areas, thus boosting the squad dynamics.
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Takehiro Tomiyasu might not be the finished article just yet but his impressive performances in Italy and Belgium suggest that he is ready to make an impact in the Premier League.
The 21-year-old already boasts a glowing profile for a player of his age and is only going to get better with time. Having said that, this is a move that could pay off handsomely for the Hammers moving forward.