Football: Tomiyasu wants to carry defensive load for Japan


Arsenal’s Takehiro Tomiyasu said Thursday his decision to wear the No. 22 jersey for Japan at the Asian Cup in Qatar is a sign of his willingness to do the dirty work in central defense like those who have donned the number in the past.

Former captain Maya Yoshida and longtime stalwart Yuji Nakazawa are among the previous wearers of the number traditionally associated with Samurai Blue central defenders.

“I will take on that role,” Tomiyasu said. “It gives me a sense of the responsibility that I want to continue while showing leadership.”

Tomiyasu is still dealing with the effects of an ankle ...

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