Monday, October 2, 2023

Arsenal Are Close To Landing This Ajax Defender: Good Signing For Arteta?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent report, Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf stated that Arsenal are close to landing Ajax defender Jurrien Timber. It has been claimed that the Gunners have agreed on a five-year deal worth around £130,000-a-week with the Dutch talent.

Timber’s Impressive Run Of Form In Dutch Football

Timber is enjoying a decent campaign at the Dutch club after he put in a run of impressive performances at the centre of their backline. The 22-year-old was involved in 47 matches for Ajax last season, netting two goals and grabbing two assists in all competitions.

The Utrecht-born talent was a rock at the back for averaging 1.4 tackles, 1.2 interceptions and 1.9 clearances per game in the Dutch Eredivisie. He has even been careful when distributing possession from inside his half, based on his pass completion rate of 91.7% in the Dutch top-flight (stats via whoscored).

His current deal at the Dutch club is set to run out in the summer of 2025. Therefore, it won’t be easy for the Gunners to land Timber on the cheap ahead of the new campaign.

Jurrien Timber
USA’s forward #09 Jesus Ferreira (L) fights for the ball with Netherlands’ defender #02 Jurrien Timber during the Qatar 2022 World Cup round of 16 football match between the Netherlands and USA at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on December 3, 2022. (Photo by Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP) (Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI/AFP via Getty Images)

Is Timber A Good Signing For Arsenal Boss Mikel Arteta?

Timber is a solid tackler of the ball and can time his challenges well to earn possession back for his team inside his half. He usually clears his lines when the opposition are on the front foot and excels at playing his way out from the back. The Dutch defender is primarily a centre-back but can also fill in as a right-back if needed.

Someone with Timber’s skillset will no doubt be a welcome addition to Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta’s match-day squad before the start of the new season. He is good enough to bring more bite and steel to the North London club‘s defence and increase competition for places within their squad.

Timber will help the Gunners compete across all competitions in the coming seasons. Hence, Arteta should focus on snapping him up as he will be a great signing for the London outfit in the long run. However, there are some concerns over whether he can adapt to the physical side and high intensity of Premier League football.

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