Tomiyasu has not featured for Arsenal since their 2-1 defeat to Fulham on New Year’s Eve, after representing Japan at the Asian Cup in Qatar.
The versatile defender played in all but one of Japan’s matches as they reached the quarter-finals of the tournament in Qatar, but a minor injury prevented him from making his Arsenal return at the London Stadium.
Asked why Tomiyasu was missing, Arteta replied: “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 25-year-old has made 73 appearances for Arsenal since his 2021 move from Serie A side Bologna.
The Gunners were ruthless in Tomiyasu’s place, scoring six unanswered goals and earning a win which moved them level on 52 points with second-place Manchester City and only two points behind leaders Liverpool.