Jurriën Timber: The rising star poised to excel at Arsenal

Arsenal has agreed to sign Jurriën Timber from Ajax for £38.5m. Previously linked to Manchester United as a primary target, the Dutchman had told Erik ten Hag before the World Cup that he would not be heading to Manchester. Ten Hag was reported to be ‘stunned’ – they had worked together previously at Ajax, and he was keen to reunite with Timber.

Why does Arsenal want him?

Mikel Arteta has built a young squad that can be beneficial for both the present and future. Thus, Timber fits the profile at just 22 years old. The Dutch international was a key player for both Ajax and the Netherlands, a versatile player who can play both center back and right back.

He has many qualities that will benefit him in Arsenal’s system, some of these are; composure, tactical intelligence, and awareness. Arteta’s side has started to instill possession-based football into their game, alongside playing out the back. Timber fits the profile perfectly. Former Dutch international Marco van Basten stated in an interview “thanks to him that we are able to play so easy out from the back.”

Furthermore, patience is a key part of his game: when on the ball he likes to take his time and create space and opportunities for his teammates. In defensive situations, Timber is an aggressive defender, who likes to press attackers when the opportunity arises.

So far in this transfer window, Arsenal has been improving their depth to the squad, with the likes of Kai Havertz and Declan Rice. Timber adds extra cover for both William Saliba and Ben White.

Van Basten & Van Dijk’s seal of approval

Van Basten has been full praise of the young Dutch talent, in the same interview previously mentioned, he said: “Timber is never panicking. If you are as good as Timber, you can always remain calm.” These are sure these are words that Mikel Arteta and Arsenal fans are happy to hear.

Alongside van Basten, fellow Dutch center back Virgil van Dijk commented on Timber, stating: “I wasn’t nearly as far along as he is now [at the same age],” and “he has so much potential. Hopefully, he can develop further. Then it will be all right, I think.” Receiving praise from players of this caliber says a lot indeed.

Does the signing of Timber potentially change White’s role at Arsenal?

White’s role at Arsenal could change due to the signing of Timber. With Timber being brought in as a right back, it could be to give White competition alongside the reinforcement of cover. However, it has been hinted that White could be trailed in a similar role as Manchester City’s John Stones.

Pep Guardiola has transformed John Stones from a center back into a midfielder, and he is now vital to the system. Looking at White’s attributes, he has a similar, if not better ability to play the role, he’s a good carrier of the ball, a good passer, and is technically gifted.

Moreover, he also made some appearances as a defensive midfielder for both Leeds and Brighton. Arteta also suggested that this could happen in the future in a previous press conference, it will be an interesting one to keep an eye on.

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