Jurrien Timber vs Saliba and White

After the signing of Kai Havertz from Chelsea. The Gunners are getting closer to signing Jurrien Timber from Ajax, according to many reliable sources.

It’s confirmed that the Dutchman has already agreed personal terms with Arsenal. As a result, he’s expected to arrive at the Emirates Stadium as soon as possible.

Mikel Arteta isn’t planning to settle for less in the 2022-2023 campaign. Even though he missed out on winning the Premier League title last season.

Manchester United were so close to getting Timber in last summer’s transfer window. However, they failed to secure his signature and signed Lisandro Martínez instead.

However, the Dutchman is now close to joining Arsenal and Mikel Arteta. The Spanish gaffer is hell-bent on adding him to the defensive squad.

The Gunners have already agreed payment terms with Ajax. And he will have his medical as the new North London club’s signing in this summer’s transfer window.

Jurrien Timber would join the Premier League side for a fee of around £40 million. And he’s expected to sign a 5-year contract with the Gunners until June 2028.

At the same time, the 22-year-old Dutch center-back is most likely to earn around €150,000 per week. Obviously, the North London club isn’t joking around.

Of course, it’s reported that many top European clubs are heavily interested in Jurrien. However, he loves the Gunners project, and will join Mikel Arteta’s side.

Frankly, Arsenal started playing poorly last season after William Saliba’s injury. They literally lost the Premier League title, because the Frenchman wasn’t available.

As a result, Mikel Arteta doesn’t want to have the same situation next campaign. Therefore, he wants to sign Timber to compete with William Saliba.

Jurrien Timber stats in the Eredivisie (2022-2023)

34 appearances
2 goals
2 assists
92.0 touches per 90
0.4 key passes
92% pass accuracy
9 clean sheets
1.2 interceptions per 90
1.4 tackles
1.9 clearances
0.2 dribbled past
53% ground duels won
47% aerial duels won
56% dribble success
3 yellow cards

The Dutchman may be just 22-year-old. Nevertheless, he’s a player with a lot of experience, having played in the UEFA Champions League.

Also, he has made 121 appearances for Ajax in all competitions, winning three trophies. Without being sentimental, he’s a massive addition to the Gunners squad.

Timber reportedly chose Arsenal because Mikel Arteta believes so much in the youngsters. The centre-back believes he will get enough playing time at the club.

Initially, the Spanish manager wants to sign Jurrien to give William Saliba and Ben White competition. However, there are other reasons he wants the player at the Emirates.

Mikel Arteta wants a flexible and ball-playing centre-back. Someone who can comfortably play as a centre-back and a right-back. Meanwhile, Timber fits perfectly into such a profile.

What are Jurrien Timber strengths and weaknesses?

The 22-year-old Dutchman is literally a complete centre-back. Nevertheless, he has his own attributes and shortcomings, both offensively and defensively.

Having been a ball-playing centre-back, Timber has ball-carrying ability as one of his biggest strengths. He has that in common with Lisandro Martínez of Manchester United.

The Dutch international has the ability to carry the ball from the back to midfield. Even though he’s a defender, linking up with his teammates, particularly up front.

Another thing is versatility. The 22-year-old defender is able to play a diverse role at the back. That’s why Mikel Arteta wants him in the squad at all costs.

In all fairness, he’s expected to give William Saliba a tough competition. Because his versatility allows him to play as a CB and a RB, competing with Ben White as well.

Jurrien is a portrait of César Azpilicueta of Chelsea. He’s an extremely versatile defender, who’s flexible enough to play different positions at the defense line.

Positioning is also one of Timber’s biggest strengths. He always stands firm at the defense line, reading the attacker’s movements in the box.

In case of a counterattack from the opponent’s players. The 22-year-old Dutchman knows when to move or stop, chasing the attackers up and down.

Timber averaged 1.4 tackles per 90 minutes in the Eredivisie for Ajax last season. As a result, tackling is one of his characteristics as a defender.

Also, he has concentration, always staying focused defensively. And pace, putting his running ability to work on the pitch, helping the team’s performance.

Speaking of pace, Jurrien has the ability to charge the team’s tempo offensively. Because he does setup counterattacks as a result of his pace and acceleration.


Despite ticking all the boxes as a young defender. The Dutch international isn’t good aerially, which means he’s very bad at contesting for the ball in the air.

He averaged 47% aerial duels success in the Eredivisie last season. Of course, it’s going to get worse in the Premier League, because the English teams aren’t smiling.

If he plays as a centre-back, Gabriel Magalhães will cover up for him in the air. And he can lean on William Saliba, if he plays as a right-back.

Regardless, Timber is poor in the air. However, he’s most likely to improve under Mikel Arteta, having seen William Saliba’s improvement defensively.

Even though he’s a good tackler. Jurrien commits a lot of fouls on the pitch. Which will also get worse at Arsenal, because the league is tough.

The 22-year-old centre-back commits 1.72 fouls per 90 minutes. Frankly, that’s very bad for a defender, particularly when he will be playing in the EPL.

What is Jurrien Timber style of play?

Despite being a centre-back, the player likes to dribble, making long passes to linkup with his teammates. He always does that, regardless of the league’s toxicity.

As a ball-playing CB, Timber loves to go forward, trying to create chances. At least, he averaged 0.4 key passes for Ajax in the 2022-2023 campaign.

He’s a type of centre-back, who enjoys going forward to charge the attack. Of course, Jurrien will build something with Havertz and Odegaard.

The Dutch international likes to read every game. As a result, it makes everything easy for him, as regards tackling or intercepting the ball.

Defensively, Timber loves to spread his wings, helping both the right and left backs. He usually controls the defense line with his passes and positioning.

Jurrien likes to run, charging the team’s offensive performance, thanks to his pace and acceleration. He’s somehow unstoppable on counterattacks.

Having been a ball-playing centre-back. The Dutch youngster loves to carry the ball forward, particularly to the midfield. And he connects with the midfielders.

Just like Levi Colwill of Chelsea. The 22-year-old Dutchman loves to make a series of passes. He distributes passes accurately, having 92% pass accuracy.

What’s the difference between William Saliba and Jurrien Timber?

In all fairness, there’s no actual gap between the young centre-backs. Mikel Arteta just wants the Dutchman to compete with the Frenchman.

When William Saliba was injured last season. The Gunners were playing unimpressively, particularly in the Premier League, losing the title.

However, Arsenal don’t want the same thing to happen next campaign. As a result, they desire to provide a competition for the Frenchman at the back.

William Saliba and Jurrien Timber have many things in common. They are both young, versatile, and experienced, which will favor the Gunners.

The two are tenacious and good tacklers, always helping the team’s defensive performance. Of course, Mikel Arteta is planning something massive next season.

The only obvious difference is that, Saliba isn’t really versatile like Timber. The Frenchman cannot play as a left-back or right-back.

At the same time, he seems like an injury-prone player. Meanwhile, Jurrien plays every game in the Eredivisie for Ajax in the 2022-2023 campaign.

Moreso, they are both ball-playing centre-backs. As a result, they cannot actually play together at the back, which makes Gabriel Magalhães irreplaceable.

The 22-year-old Dutchman is most likely to flop in his first season in the Premier League. Unlike Saliba, he’s EPL proven as a defender.

Both Saliba and Timber are match winners. Despite the fact that they are centre-backs, they always win many games for their clubs in all competitions.

Jurrien Timber vs Saliba and White

Jurrien Timber stats vs William Saliba and Ben White

Timber vs Saliba

Statistics (per 90) Timber Saliba
Games played 34 27
Goals 2 2
Shots 0.3 0.1
Assists 2 1
Touches 92.0 77.6
Big chances created 2 1
Key passes 0.4 0.2
Pass accuracy 73.5 (92%) 62.9 (91%)
Long balls success 2.1 (52%) 2.4 (56%)
Clean sheets 9 11
Interceptions 1.2 0.7
Tackles 1.4 1.3
Clearances 1.9 3.0
Possessions won 0.3 0.1
Dribbled past 0.2 0.1
Dribbles success 0.6 (56%) 0.3 (90%)
Ground duels won 2.6 (53%) 2.1 (67%)
Aerial duels won 1.3 (47%) 2.0 (55%)
Possession lost 8.7 7.0
Fouls committed 1.1 0.7

Timber vs White

Statistics (per 90) Timber White
Games played 34 38
Goals 2 2
Shots 0.3 0.08
Assists 2 5
Touches 92.0 68.2
Big chances created 2 6
Key passes 0.4 0.7
Pass accuracy 73.5 (92%) 44.4 (87%)
Long balls success 2.1 (52%) 1.5 (44%)
Clean sheets 9 9
Interceptions 1.2 0.6
Tackles 1.4 1.6
Clearances 1.9 2.0
Possessions won 0.3 0.5
Dribbled past 0.2 0.7
Dribbles success 0.6 (56%) 0.2 (35%)
Ground duels won 2.6 (53%) 2.6 (56%)
Aerial duels won 1.3 (47%) 0.9 (45%)
Possession lost 8.7 10.7
Fouls committed 1.1 0.7

Is he good enough to transform the Gunners defense line?

Without being sentimental, Timber is more experienced than Saliba and White. Because he has made many appearances in the UEFA Champions League.

Despite being just 22-year-old, he has been to many competitions for Ajax. As a result, he has the ability to change the Gunners defense line.

Because of his versatility, he will be competing with both William Saliba and Ben White. His defensive prowess will most likely help him in the Premier League.

Many people talked down Lisandro Martínez at Manchester United. However, he single-handedly transformed the Red Devils defense line.

Unarguably, Timber is somehow better than the Argentine centre-back. Therefore, Jurrien is capable of taking the Gunners defense to the next level.

Mikel Arteta is known for getting the best out of young players. As a result, the 22-year-old Dutchman will succeed in the Premier League.

He’s obviously UEFA Champions League proven. Therefore, he will definitely help the Gunners in the competition, possibly playing above William Saliba.

Arsenal apparently have diverse centre-back options. Nevertheless, Timber isn’t a joke, he’s an extremely reliable young defender, making headlines in Europe.

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