The main news that I’m hearing about this morning is that Takehiro Tomiyasu has agreed a new deal with The Arsenal, as we move to tie down more of those trusted players that Arteta likes in his squad, per various sources yesterday.

For me I think this is the right thing to do. He’s a player who is great in the duels (and we know how much Arteta loves it when you win a duel), can play both flanks and for Japan has also operated as a centre half. One of the things that has become consistent in Arteta’s kind of defender is their versatility and I think Tomiyasu has certainly shown that. He absolutely pocketed Salah last season at The Emirates and were he fit at Anfield this season I’d have put some money on the Japanese defender to have started in that game too.

It’s that sentence that will have a few Arsenal fans questioning, however, the deal itself. I think nearly all the Gooners I have spoken to think Tomiyasu is a great player for us and we all love him. When he arrived at the club it completely changed our right back situation and then when we lost him to injury there was a void there. But since he’s joined he’s never really been able to shake off those persistent knocks and injuries and the fact he went away with Japan, played most of their games, then came back to us crocked, personally didn’t look great for me. Since he signed for the club, according to Transfermarkt, he’s picked up four separate injuries with us, totalling 225 days, which is 38 games that he’s missed in total. That’s in three season’s and effectively means he’s missed about a quarter of a season every year. His injury record before he joined us also wasn’t impeccable and that’s why if there was an Arsenal fan who was questioning his long-term viability as a regular in this Arsenal team, I could understand it.

But perhaps Arteta and Arsenal are just learning to adapt by building him in as a squad player. Ben White is pretty much recognised now as our first choice right back and with Zinchenko and Timber also able to operate in that left back role, Tomiyasu’s versatility means that whilst he’s not always fit, when he is fit, he’s not relied on like when he first signed as our number one guy in any position. And when I think of it like that, I can make peace with him signing a new deal and for us keeping him around. If he’s a player that Arteta trusts and he keeps delivering when he is fit, then it’s fine with me.

There’s also been some noises about Ben White on the verge of signing a new deal too, which to me would be another great move that Arsenal are doing to tie down a core set of players on long contracts. in the last 12 – 18 months we’ve done Gabriel, Saliba, Tomi when done, Ben White when done, Odegaard, Rice is on a five year deal, Havertz too, with Martinelli having signed and Saka as well. The core of this team is stable and I think the next big question that will be on Arsenal’s minds is what to do with Gabriel Jesus and Zinchenko. I think both have three year’s to go at the end of this season and whilst that isn’t something to be too concerned with, if their respective injury problems persist in to next season, they might be the only ones who Arsenal might be thinking about moving on from. Arteta talks about how Gabriel Jesus “changed our world” when he signed and we all saw how Zinchenko flipped our thinking of how a left back operates, but let’s not pretend that Arteta won’t be ruthless if he has to be. He loved KT when he signed but he has slowly been phased out to the point at which I haven’t heard an Arsenal fan really talk about him in any detail for about a year. Ramsdale signed a new deal a year ago and now he seems destined for the exit. Arteta is constantly looking to upgrade and improve this squad and we all know that the club are looking for a striker in the summer. If Gabriel Jesus can’t stay fit for long enough then you just know Arteta will move on from him, regardless of how much he loves the player.

Perhaps that was already meant to happen this season with Timber and Zinchenko? Had Jurrien not picked up that horrible injury right at the start, he might already be a regular there. Zinchenko was missing for the first game of the season against Forest and in came Timber at left back without a thought. He was good in that first half, too, having played so well in the Community Shield, so it wouldn’t surprise me to see that the next time Zinchenko picks up a longer term injury, he finds his path blocked to the starting XI by the likes of Timber. Or maybe even Kiwior? His form of late is such that I have absolutely no problem with him keeping his place and, in fact, I hope he does. You keep playing like that, son, and the jersey is yours to the end of the season. You just need to keep up your end of the bargain by keep on putting in those great performances you’ve been doing.

Isn’t it just amazing to be able to have these conversations though? Rather than wishing players fit, we’re simply allowing others to step up and improve the overall depth of the squad. I love it and long may it continue, because that will foster the kind of winning mentality that gets you the big prizes at the end of the season.

Anyway, there’ll most likely not be a press conference until tomorrow, so I think I’ll put a pause in today’s ramblings and come back to you tomorrow, with a more in depth look at how our opponents for the weekend – Brentford – are shaping up.

Have a good one.