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Arsenal: Why didn’t Takehiro Tomiyasu play against West Ham?

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The Japanese defender missed Arsenal’s crushing win over the Hammers despite his return from international duty.

Mikel Arteta has revealed Takehiro Tomiyasu missed Arsenal’s 6-0 win over West Ham due to a fitness issue.

Tomiyasu returned to London after Japan were eliminated in the Asian Cup quarter-finals. The defender was expected to make his first appearance for the Gunners since December 31 against West Ham. However, Mikel Arteta kept him out of the matchday squad as he preferred to avoid the risk of a more serious injury.

“He had a niggle when he came with the national team. It was not the moment to risk him after how many minutes he has played,” the manager said post-match.

In Tomiyasu’s absence, Arsenal crushed West Ham with a ruthless display at the London Stadium. The Gunners scored four goals in the final 15 minutes of the first period before completing the Hammers’ humiliation with two more goals after the break. 

Arsenal celebrated their fourth Premier League victory in a row, only a week after beating Liverpool 3-1 in a crucial match at Etihad. 

Asked about his side’s improved form, Arteta responded: “We are maintaining and building some momentum now. Performances have been strong as well as results in recent weeks. 

“We need to maintain that because other teams are doing that as well. We are not the only ones. We need to recognise that so now on to Burnley.”

Arsenal will continue their league campaign with a match against Burnley next Saturday before taking on Porto in a Champions League match four days later.