Takehiro Tomiyasu in U-turn over Arsenal link-up following World Cup | Football

The Japan star said he needed to ‘forget about football’ following the World Cup (Picture: Getty)

Takehiro Tomiyasu has now decided he will immediately link up with Arsenal on their warm-weather training camp despite saying he needed time off after the World Cup.

The 24-year-old went into the tournament still carrying an injury knock and did not start a match for Japan until the last-16 clash with Croatia, which his side cruelly lost on penalties.

Asked when he would return to Arsenal following his nation’s World Cup exit, Tomiyasu said earlier this week: ‘I don’t know.

‘Hopefully I can get a bit of rest. I need time to forget about football. I need a bit of time.’

However, according to Japanese newspaper Sports Nippon, the defender boarded a flight from Doha to Dubai on Wednesday and will immediately join up with his Arsenal team-mates.

The Gunners are currently in the United Arab Emirates for a warm-weather training camp, with Mikel Arteta having been keen for players participating in the World Cup to make the short flight to Dubai once their nations were eliminated.

Arsenal take on Lyon in a winter break friendly on Thursday afternoon and Tomiyasu could be in the stands to watch his team-mates take on the French side.

Arsenal’s non-World Cup players are training in Dubai (Picture: Getty)

Tomiyasu will be joined by Thomas Partey and Granit Xhaka, who exited the World Cup in the group stage and last 16 with Ghana and Switzerland respectively.

Speaking about his eagerness to return to training with Arsenal as soon as possible, Xhaka said: ‘Of course, emotionally it is not easy. But this is part of our business, part of football.

‘You have to recover well. The Premier League is waiting and, of course, I wanted to be here longer than this. But we lost the game today and I am happy to go back now with the team.

‘I have something to achieve there, and I know the team is in Dubai at the moment doing the pre-season.

‘I’m flying back to Dubai, going back to the team, and going back to the training and trying to forget the tournament now.’

Arsenal are currently in top spot in the Premier League table, five point clear of Manchester City, and Arteta wants to hit the ground running when the season resumes – particularly after Gabriel Jesus’ injury blow.

MORE : Granit Xhaka backs Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah to replace Gabriel Jesus after World Cup injury

MORE : Arsenal could reignite interest in Jonathan David and Joao Felix after Gabriel Jesus blow

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