By Noel Whelan

28th Sep, 2021 | 9:00pm

Arsenal new boy hailed after 'Spurs dropped the ball in negotiations' with Tomiyasu - pundit

Noel Whelan has lavished praise on Arsenal for rectifying their long-standing defensive problems this summer.

The former Leeds striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted Tottenham “dropped the ball” by not signing new Gunners star Takehiro Tomiyasu when they had the chance.

The Japan international, 22, was named Arsenal’s man of the match in the 3-1 win over Spurs on Sunday.

He helped nullify the threat of Heung-min Son and Harry Kane in yet another composed performance.

In July, Football Insider revealed that Tomiyasu had his heart set on joining Spurs after their continued interest – but they instead signed Emerson Royal on deadline day.

Arsenal instead swooped for the defender, paying Bologna a reported £15.5million for his services.

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Whelan praised Arsenal for remedying their “frail” defence with the signings of Ben White and Tomiyasu.

“They’ve [Tottenham] dropped the ball with that one – they were the only team linked with him at one stage,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.

“Arsenal knew where they were frail, and it’s been at the back for a number of years now.

“They went out and spent big to get Ben White, and they also got Tomiyasu.

“They didn’t waste any time stepping on Tottenham’s feet in the negotiations, they were straight in and they got him.

“They’ve got flair players, they will score goals – but what they haven’t got is a stable backline.

“They went out in the summer and bolstered that backline because that’s where they’ve been let down in recent years.”

Tomiyasu can play both at the heart of the defence and at right-back.

The former Sint-Trudinese man has 24 caps for Japan, scoring once.

In other news, injury expert delivers his verdict on unusual Arsenal incident v Spurs.