Arsenal have signed Netherlands International Jurrien Timber from Ajax. The Dutchman is Arsenal's second signing of the summer after Kai Havertz. Manchester United showed interest in him initially but backed away from it. It gave the Gunners the green signal to go after Timber.
However, the big point of discussion is Manchester United's interest in him last year. Timber was set to be Erik ten Hag's first signing of last summer window, but that move never materialized. Instead, the former Ajax manager bought Lisandro Martinez, who has been one of the best signings of last season. Timber had actually hinted that the move to Old Trafford was very close last season. However, the Red Devils never stepped up in their transfer pursuit.
Eventually, Timber backtracked his comments and said that he was fully focused on Ajax. “Of course, we [Ajax] didn’t perform well this season,” Timber told Ziggo Sports in May. “And that’s why I’m not shouting that I want to leave. I said ‘no’ to really big clubs last season. So I never feel like it’s time to go.
Although ten Hag wants defensive reinforcements, they didn't go ahead with the Timber deal. It is believed that the Manchester United manager wasn't impressed with the Dutch defender's performances for Ajax last season. Ten Hag's former team finished third in the Eredivisie standings and 13 points behind champions Feyenoord.
Arsenal didn't agree to that analysis and stepped up in their interest for a £38m move. It is interesting to see how Timber fits into the Arsenal lineup, as Mikel Arteta prefers William Saliba and Gabriel as his first-choice central defenders. However, it is clear that Manchester United didn't believe that they would get value for money with the Dutch defender.