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Massive Setback for United as Erik ten Hag’s Favourite Player Rejects Move to Old Trafford

Jurrien Timber, Manchester United

The rebuild at Manchester United has apparently hit a recent setback as Jurrien Timber appears set to reject a move to Old Trafford this summer. Erik ten Hag has been left stunned by the Dutch defender after turning down advances from the Red Devils.

Man United have been linked to quite a few players in the current transfer window as the club executives aim to get the overhaul at the club underway. Two of the most prominent names in the fray were Frenkie De Jong of Barcelona and Ajax’s Jurrien Timber but United already look to be retracting their interest in the 21-year-old defender.

Jurrien Timber playing for Netherlands, Manchester United,
Image Obtained Via Team Talk

According to the De Telegraaf reporter Mike Verweij (via Metro), Jurrien Timber believes it to be too much of a risk to move to Manchester United in this transfer window. The defender is not willing to make such a big move so early in his career.

The risk factor is regarding the playing time that might or might not be awarded to the Dutchman. Former United manager Louis van Gaal has warned the 22-year-old defender against moving to Old Trafford as he might risk losing his place in the Netherlands’ World Cup squad.

Timber featured 43 times in total last season for Ajax, making 30 starts in the Eredivisie alone (stats via Transfermarkt). Such abundance of playing time and focus on the growth of young talent can be secondary to United’s objectives and the player might suffer at Old Trafford, especially since the side already features defenders such as the veteran Raphael Varane, record signing Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof.

The Dutchman is set to go on holiday before making his decision, but it is believed that the he will lean heavily in Ajax’s favour. As reported by The Athletic, this is what Van Gaal had to say about the defender’s move to Old Trafford:

“I think a player of his quality can play in the Premier League. That is not a problem.

“If he has to make this big step now, that’s the question.

“It is not so wise I think (to move to United). He has to play.”

While the Netherlands boss is known to be anti-United from his opinions about his former club, this particular stance seems to be much more well-rounded. It makes sense for Timber to stay on for another season at Ajax and make the most of it, perhaps even guaranteeing a spot in the World Cup squad as well while doing so.

This will open up many more options for him in the next summer transfer window with other high-profile clubs getting to know more about the capabilities of the youngster. Sitting on the bench at United would severely hamper the youngster’s chances of making it to the World Cup and/or developing further as a player.

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Buying Timber based on one good season can prove to be a risk for United since the trajectory of his growth is still relatively unknown to most. However, if Ten Hag aims to be successful at the Old Trafford, he must develop the club the way he did at Ajax.

The United board need to allow the manager to make signings similar to Timber: young and hungry players looking to make their mark in football instead of focusing on their wage bills, players who can be moulded into world-class talent. This is what Ten Hag did at Ajax and this is what he must do at United.

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