Arsenal Adds Defensive Depth With Jurrien Timber Signing
Welcome to North London, Jurrien Timber. Arsenal announced the signing of the Dutch defender on Friday. The Gunners paid his former club Ajax a €40 million ($45 million) transfer fee with potential add-ons to secure his services. He has signed a five-year contract with Arsenal.
The Arsenal family continues to grow ❤️ pic.twitter.com/VovE3Zt24J— Arsenal (@Arsenal) July 14, 2023
Timber joined Ajax’s academy in 2014 and had been at the club ever since. After making his professional debut in 2020, he became a key part of Ajax’s defense. He made 191 caps for the club, winning the Eredivisie twice and the Dutch Cup once. Timber was also a member of the Netherlands’ squad at the 2020 Euros and 2022 World Cup and has 15 Dutch caps to his name.
This is a great signing for Arsenal. Despite leading the Premier League for most of the season last year, the Gunners struggled after William Saliba‘s injury. Arsenal dropped crucial points at the end of the season, allowing Manchester City to make up ground and ultimately breeze past Arsenal to win yet another Premier League title.
Arsenal’s struggles highlighted the lack of depth the club has in its defense. Timber, who can play as a center-back and a right-back, adds another option to Arsenal’s backline for next season.
He does not just add numbers to Arsenal’s backline, however. Arsenal is getting an already accomplished young defender who has elite ability on the ball. Last season, the 22-year-old completed 2,517 passes–379 more than any other player in the Eredivisie–with a 91.6 percent completion rate.
Timber is also a good defender as well. He uses both his strength and his speed to win his defensive battles. He has been known to be a little rash at times, flying into challenges he does not necessarily need to. However, he is just 22-years-old and will get better with this in time.
It will be interesting to see how Arsenal uses Timber next year. As of right now, it seems likely that Arteta will stick with Gabriel and Saliba as his two starting center-backs. They formed a wall when playing together last year, and Timber looks unlikely to displace either of them.
If he is to start, it will likely be at right-back over Ben White. However, White was solid for the Gunners next year, meaning he likely has the nod over Timber right now. It will be fun to see how this battle for playing time plays out and how Arteta utilizes Timber for the Gunners.
This is Arsenal’s second confirmed signing so far this summer. The club also signed Kai Havertz from Chelsea earlier this summer. The Gunners have also agreed to sign Declan Rice from West Ham, and this transfer will likely be confirmed soon.
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