Takehiro Tomiyasu says it has been his dream to play in the Champions League, ahead of Arsenal’s clash with Sevilla at the Emirates Stadium.
The Japanese international has played the entirety of Arsenal’s last two Champions League ties and featured for just over half an hour in Mikel Arteta’s side’s opening day 4-0 thrashing of PSV.
A win for Arsenal will see them progress through to the knockout stages for the first time since 2016/17 where they were knocked out by Bayern Munich in the round of 16, losing 10-2 on aggregate.
And Tomiyasu is relishing the opportunity to reach the knockouts, with two games to spare.
“To play in the Champions League was my biggest dream so I’m happy to play in it,” he said. “I just want to play on the pitch as much as I can.
“We are really focused on tomorrow’s game. We need to bounce back from Saturday’s game.
“It’s a massive opportunity for us to qualify for the next stage. It’s a massive game for us and we’re playing to get three points against them.
“It’s not easy to play in the Champions League and Premier League, but we need to be fit and available as much as we can because already we’ve lost some players with injuries. For me, I need to be fit and available as much as I can.”
Arsenal come into this game off the back of two defeats in a row. After crashing out of the Carabao Cup against West Ham, Arteta’s men lost in controversial circumstances at St. James’ Park against Newcastle.
Tomiyasu has insisted that the feel-good factor in the squad has not been hampered after their first league defeat of the season.
“Yes, it doesn’t burst the atmosphere because we lost a game against them”, said the Arsenal man.
“As you say their goal was not an acceptable decision. That’s why we were more emotional. But obviously, when we lost a game we are disappointed. It is not the best feeling to lose a game.”