Know your links: Jurriën Timber
Taking a look at the Arsenal target's background and film
A versatile defender has been on my shopping list for Arsenal’s summer for some time, and recently reported summer target Jurriën Timber certainly fits that bill.
Thanks to the Oracle David Ornstein, we now know that Arsenal are attempting to sign Ajax’s 22-year-old, three-year starter at right centre-back, a right-footer who came through the Ajax academy after joining from Feyenoord as a teenager.
Timber has in that time amassed 80 Eredivisie starts for the Dutch club, as well as another 19 in the Champions League and Europa League. He’s done battle with Premier League titans such as Darwin Núñez, Cody Gakpo and Erling Haaland, and has been linked in recent windows with a move to Manchester United. It all adds up to a remarkable amount of experience for any 22-year-old, particularly given he was 21 until just a few days ago.
Timber stands at 5’10” and — here’s a fun fact — has a twin brother, Quentin, who plays as a midfielder for Dutch champions, Feyenoord. He’s been deployed most often as a centre-back for Ajax, with the majority of his experience coming in Erik Ten Hag’s 4-2-3-1/4-3-3 system.
Timber did start every single league game of this most recent league campaign, the club’s worst in years. Ajax played mainly out of a 4-3-3 under Alfred Schreuder at the beginning of the year, with Timber at RCB between Calvin Bassey and Devyne Rensch. Schreuder was sacked in January and replaced by John Heitinga, who didn’t mix up tactics all that often, but one of the games I watched for this piece - Ajax’s second leg 3-1 loss at Union Berlin in the Europa League - Timber did feature as the central CB in a 3-4-3.
So, based on some games from the recent season, what could Arsenal expect from Timber? What would Arteta love and hate about the Dutch ball-playing defender? Let’s take a look.
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