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Mikel Arteta says Jurrien Timber possesses qualities that no Arsenal player has

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is optimistic about the potential impact of Jurrien Timber on the team’s attacking dynamics

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Mikel Arteta with Jurrien Timber
Image credit: Getty Images

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta is optimistic about the potential impact of Jurrien Timber on the team’s attacking dynamics as the season progresses.

Timber, who arrived at Arsenal from Ajax in a £38 million deal last summer, has been sidelined since August due to injury but is nearing a return to action. The defender has resumed training and may feature in some matches with Arsenal’s Under-21 squad to regain match fitness.

Arteta expressed his enthusiasm for Timber’s comeback, saying the Dutchman’s unique qualities could reshape Arsenal’s style of play, particularly in their build-up from defence.

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“We were really short at the start of the season, then we had some issues, and now we are recovering players,” said Arteta. “Jurrien is a main one because he has a quality that nobody else has in the backline to actually affect, especially in the attacking phases, things that we do, in both positions or three positions. We have more flexibility now.”

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Jurrien Timber, known for his versatility across the defensive line, showcased his talents as a centre-back for Ajax before his move to Arsenal. Despite starting the season at full-back for Arsenal, the 22-year-old has the capability to drift into midfield, bolstering Arteta’s tactical approach.

Having endured a knee injury in Arsenal’s opening Premier League fixture of the season, Timber’s recovery progress has impressed the club management.

“I think he’s got a good chance,” commented Arteta regarding Timber’s potential return before the season’s conclusion. “He’s doing very well. He’s back training. He’s not far off, the thing is that last step – he hasn’t played any minutes. Does he need a game with the Under-21s? Does he need two games?”

Arteta highlighted the final stage of Timber’s rehabilitation as crucial, indicating that his return to match fitness could take some time but expressing hope for a swift comeback.

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