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Mikel Arteta was impressed with Arsenal defender Takehiro Tomiyasu’s cameo against Luton Town

Japan international defender Takehiro Tomiyasu made his second appearance of the year for Arsenal against Luton Town last night, coming off the bench to replace Oleksandr Zinchenko for the final 15 minutes of the game.

Injuries have prevented the versatile 25-year-old from featuring regularly for the Gunners this term, but his return is a much-needed boost for manager Mikel Arteta.

The Arsenal boss was impressed with Tomiyasu’s cameo against the Hatters and is hoping he can count on him during the title run-in.

“Is Tomiyasu happy? Then I’m happy. I’m really happy. I really like him, he fully deserves that,” Arteta replied when asked whether he is happy with the performance of the Japanese.

“I think he’s growing with the team and we need the consistency from him when he’s fit and available because today when he came on he was really good and he gave us a lot.”

With the games coming in thick and fast due to their involvement in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, Arsenal need their squad depth right now more than ever, and having the versatility of Tomiyasu will come in handy.

He is one of the few defenders that can play across the backline and he will be desperate to help his team land the title after signing a new deal last month.

The Japanese will get opportunities to start some games, but forcing his way into the Arsenal starting XI will be top of his plans, and that is very much achievable between now and the end of the campaign.

The physicality Tomiyasu brings to the table is also massive, and Arteta could prefer him to Zinchenko during some tricky games.

It remains to be seen whether Jurrien Timber will be available for action this term, but Arsenal have enough depth at the back and will be feeling confident ahead of the Bayern Munich clash and the remaining eight league games.