Arsenal Edges Closer to Securing Jurrien Timber Transfer
In what seems to be Arsenal’s second significant move in this transfer window, the club is inching closer to bolstering its defensive line with the imminent arrival of Jurrien Timber.
The latest update on Mikel Arteta’s pursuit of the young Dutch defender comes from the reputable transfer expert Fabrizio Romano, who, just last week, made waves with his famous “here we go” announcement regarding Kai Havertz.
Now, it appears that Timber will be the next player to grace the Emirates Stadium, as the Gunners aim to narrow the gap between themselves and the formidable treble-winning Manchester City.
Taking to Twitter, the Italian journalist wrote: “Arsenal have submitted their second official proposal to Ajax as they strive to finalize the Jurrien Timber deal this week.
Talks between the two clubs have progressed after Ajax rejected Arsenal’s initial bid of £30 million. Personal terms were agreed upon last week, securing a five-year contract.”
It is estimated that the overall cost of the transfer will amount to approximately €45 million (£39 million).
So, what makes Jurrien Timber such an exciting prospect?
At just 22 years old, Timber possesses all the qualities required to thrive in Mikel Arteta’s possession-based system, which explains the manager’s keen interest in acquiring his services. Adapting his skills from Ajax to Arsenal should be a seamless transition.
In addition to his technical prowess, Timber’s versatility enables him to excel in various positions, extending beyond his natural center-back role.
His creativity on the pitch is unparalleled, making it apparent that he may be too dynamic to be confined solely to the defensive line.
When compared to other players in similar roles across Europe, Timber ranks within the top 1% for progressive carries and passes per 90 minutes.
Furthermore, he ranks in the top 4% for progressive passes received and in the top 5% for touches in the opposition penalty area per 90 minutes, according to FBref.
These statistics are rarely seen in a center-back, further underscoring his potential to thrive further up the pitch.
It comes as no surprise, then, that Rafael van der Vaart remarked, “Timber is incredibly fast, possesses nimble footwork, and remains composed on the ball. He almost resembles a fantastic midfielder playing in defense.”
These exceptional attributes indicate that Timber may be better suited to a midfield role or even as an inverted full-back in the mold of Oleksandr Zinchenko.
Should Arteta’s plans come to fruition, including the acquisition of West Ham United captain Declan Rice, the duo could form a formidable and unexpected midfield partnership, similar to the successful pairing of Rice and Thomas Partey.