Mikel Arteta explains the many qualities Arsenal have missed due to Jurrien Timber’s absence as defender nears return from injury

Mikel Arteta claims that Arsenal have missed Jurrien Timber‘s “leadership and versatility” during his injury layoff.

Arsenal spent £40 million ($52m) to sign Timber from Ajax in the summer and were dealt a bitter blow when the defender suffered a cruciate ligament tear in the first game of the season, against Nottingham Forest. Now, Arteta has revealed that the 22-year-old is finally closing in on a return, and has talked up the qualities the Gunners have missed while he has been out.

Arteta said: “First of all, his leadership, his versatility, the quality that he has to play in different positions, especially in an attacking phase, the spaces that he can occupy and certain qualities that nobody else in the squad has to do that. As you could tell he was fitting in; he’s really liked around the boys, and he’s been a big miss.”

Asked about his recovery, he replied: “It’s been a joy and all the physios and the medical staff are really happy with his attitude, and his commitment, especially with the way things have gone. It’s not a coincidence the way he applies [himself], how determined he is, his willingness to put every effort in everything that he’s demanded to do and he’s in a really good place. Now we have to manage [him] because it’s the last stage of that difficult injury that is complicated, but I think he’s on the right way.”


Timber also played in the Community Shield win over Manchester City but has not been seen since August. He made 121 appearances for Ajax before the move, and has also won 15 caps for the Netherlands.

Mikel Arteta Arsenal 2023-24

Timber is unlikely to be playing for Arsenal this weekend against Sheffield United but he may be eyeing the following Saturday’s clash with Brentford as a potential returning point.

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