Japan defender Takeshiro Tomiyasu has signed a long-term contract extension at Arsenal, the English Premier League leaders announced Wednesday, with British media reporting the deal runs until 2026 with an option for another year.

The 25-year-old joined the Gunners from Italian side Bologna in the summer of 2021 and quickly won a regular spot. His time in London has been plagued by injuries, and he has been limited to only 13 league appearances this season, but he remains firmly in manager Mikel Arteta's plans.

"I am so happy to extend my contract because Arsenal is the best club in the world. It's a dream to play for this club, so I'm happy," Tomiyasu said on Arsenal's website. "I dedicate my life to this club and the supporters."

"We are so pleased to have Tomi commit his future with us," Arteta said. "Together with his natural ability and strength, Tomi's attitude, mentality and values are first class. Tomi is loved by everyone and has been an integral part of the squad since joining us."

Tomiyasu last played in a match in early February when Japan went out of the Asian Cup in the quarterfinals against Iran in Qatar. He has been back on the bench for Arsenal but was not called up for Japan's upcoming World Cup qualifiers against North Korea.

"I'm playing as a full back at Arsenal, but when I'm playing with the national team, I am playing at center half, so I am learning from the Arsenal defenders," Tomiyasu said. "They're so good. There's a big competition between the players, but it's a good environment to be a better player, so I'm happy to be here."