Jurrien Timber to Arsenal: Why Dutch defender should excite Arsenal fans

Jurrien Timber to Arsenal makes way to much sense as he is defensively solid all-round, a great ability to read the game

Avignyan Mukhopadhyay
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Jurrien Timber to Arsenal | Sportz Point

Jurrien Timber to Arsenal makes way to much sense as he is defensively solid all-round, a great ability to read the game and very strong on the ball, it is understandable why Mikel Arteta was keen to bring Timber to Emirates Stadium.

According to Timber's former manager Michael Reiziger, Arteta has everything to be thrilled about.

"He is defensively really strong, very quick and anticipates game situations really well. In the one v one he is really good," says the former Netherlands defender.

"Jurrien is at ease and one with the ball. Because his first touch is really good, it is difficult to put pressure on him. He has the courage to dribble too. He has scored and given assists after first conquering the ball and then rumbling forward."

Reiziger, who started his career at Ajax and played for AC Milan, Barcelona, Middlesbrough and PSV Eindhoven, first worked with Timber when managing Ajax's second team five years ago.

"I had seen him playing in the under-19s and I remember when he started to train with us. He had a lot of power and made things his own very quickly," says Reiziger about Jurrien Timber to Arsenal.

"He was eager to learn and back then he was already a leader. You saw that in the team he played in, or perhaps you noticed it especially at times when he didn't play."

Feyenoord last year and won the league.

They have three other brothers - Dylan, Shamier and Christopher - with Dylan on the books of second division side VVV and Christopher the agent of the three footballing siblings.

Jurrien Timber to Arsenal | Sportz Point

Image caption,Timber started all six of Ajax's Champions League group games last season, against Napoli, Liverpool and Rangers (Image- BBC)

Read more: https://sportzpoint.com/football/best-xi-of-players-outside-europes-top-five-leagues/

Comparisons with Van Dijk

Before Jurrien Timber to Arsenal happened, in the summer of 2021, Timber made his Netherlands debut before the delayed Euro 2020, a tournament for which he would be selected and make three appearances.

For the national team he has played mostly on the right of a three-man defence, next to Virgil van Dijk. The Liverpool centre-back praised Timber's development, saying he was not nearly as far along at the same age, describing him as a great player and true professional.

In some way, Timber's game is reminiscent of Van Dijk's - both are calm in one-on-one situations, anticipating strikers' movements and choosing the right moment to intervene.

Their reading of the game makes them stand out, as well as being able to receive the ball in pressured situations.

"Jurrien doesn't panic and he is really fast so, even if he misjudges a situation, he can still make it up," says Reiziger, who believes Timber's best position is centre-back.

That versatility must appeal to Arteta, who may anticipate a similar role for Timber on the right as Oleksandr Zinchenko executes on the left, with a licence to roam.

Timber's impressive technique and ball control come in handy when going forward, but his defensive characteristics are equally impressive as he uses his body well to hold players off, which is also demonstrated with his very well-timed blocks and sliding tackles.

"He is a good guy and very passionate when it comes to playing football," says Reiziger. "You can easily hold a conversation with him as he is intelligent and just has a nice personality.

"He fits easily in a team. That's also because he has the attributes of a leader. You can see other lads looking at him and respecting his opinion. In that way he is a mature guy."

Reiziger believes Timber is ready to make the step up from the Eredivisie to the Premier League.

"He can do it, especially at a club like Arsenal as it is a footballing team who often has the ball and who puts opponents under pressure," says Reiziger.

"That suits him. And he can also play with space in his back, as he has been growing up playing high up the pitch.

"The intensity in the Premier League is much higher and they will also be playing Champions League next season. But he knows what will be asked of him, as he will be demanded to play in those kinds of games possibly three times a week.

"At Arsenal there are only top players, so he will have to compete and show that he is the one who has to play.

"But that is the great thing about it, that's why I think he is ready for that step. Every game you have to be the best. So this move will only make him better."

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