Jurrien Timber is more important than Virgil van Dijk and could make Ben White Arsenal’s John Stones

In Jurrien Timber, Arsenal have signed a player who brings ‘great football’ to every team he plays for.

But aside from shoring up a Gunners back line that became increasingly wobbly in last season’s Premier League title run in, he’s also been tipped to transform one of his potential teammate’s role in the team.


Timber has been tipped to have a real impact at the EmiratesCredit: Getty

Arsenal’s latest summer signing has arrived from Ajax for £40million, ending his nine years with the Amsterdam outfit.

The 22-year-old has been a vital player for both Ajax and the Netherlands, featuring heavily at the 2022 World Cup as the Oranje reached the quarter-finals.

Think of a Dutch Premier League star and Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk and Manchester City’s Nathan Ake will spring to mind immediately.

But Timber could soon be reaching that status with Arsenal. That’s the view of Netherlands legend Marco van Basten, who believes Timber is more important to the national team than Van Dijk.

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“Ajax is playing great football thanks to Jurrien Timber and the National Team is playing great football thanks to him too,” Van Basten said before the defender impressed at the World Cup.

“It’s thanks to him that we are able to play so easy out from the back. Jurrien Timber is our biggest strength in defence.

“He always takes the initiative just like Nathan Ake while actually the best defender [Van Dijk] takes the least initiative of the three which is weird, that such a great centre-back does so little in the build-up.

“Timber is never panicking. If you are as good as Timber, you can always remain calm.

Timber is more important to the Netherlands than Van Dijk according to Van Basten


Timber is more important to the Netherlands than Van Dijk according to Van BastenCredit: Getty

“Technically he is good enough and tactically he is also good enough. And that’s why he is playing and Matthijs de Ligt is not.”

Although he’s been tipped to be a huge boost for Arsenal’s defence, fans have also been questioning how Timber would fit into Mikel Arteta’s team given their current options in that area.

Timber played as a centre-back in a back four for Ajax, whilst he usually operates on the right of a back three for the Dutch national team.

The right-footed star can also play at right back, too – much like Gunners star Ben White.

White could have a new position following Timber's arrival


White could have a new position following Timber’s arrivalCredit: Getty

But rather than muscling White out of the side, talkSPORT’s football correspondent Alex Crook believes Timber will push the former Brighton star into a new role, with Declan Rice’s impending arrival leaving room for him to adopt a different position.

And it’s one White’s fellow England international John Stones has taken at Manchester City.

“I’m interested to see what happens with Ben White because we know they’ve brought in Jurrien Timber,” Crook told talkSPORT.

“I think he might move up to a sort of John Stones midfield role, I wouldn’t rule that out.

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“So, he might well be the holding midfielder and that will enable Declan Rice to go further forward.”

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