Manchester United are beginning to make progress in the pursuit of Ajax centre-back Jurrien Timber. The Red Devils are looking to sign reinforcements in several key positions under new manager Erik Ten Hag, and the Ajax defender has been tipped to follow his boss to Old Trafford.
The £35million-rated Dutchman can also function as a right-back. Timber has featured in 30 league games for Ajax this season, with 3 goals and 2 assists to his name (stats via Transfermarkt). Ajax became the Eredivisie champions, keeping 22 clean sheets and conceding just 19 goals in 34 games.
As per a report by MUFCMPB, Manchester United have already reached a verbal agreement with Jurrien Timber. Sky Sports’ Germany reporter Florien Pettenburg backed the news, reporting that United were “in talks” with the player’s agent. Ten Hag himself spoke of the possibility of Timber’s departure, stating:
“I think that all top clubs in Europe have Timber in their sights, but I think that currently applies to a lot of Ajax players.”
Timber himself had refuted suggestions that he could be headed to Old Trafford last month. In an interview with Het Parool, the 20-year-old was quoted as saying:
“I’m good at Ajax. I can still learn a lot, especially if we continue to play in the Champions League,”
Timber also lavished praise on Ten Hag:
“He deserves it (the Man United job). Ten Hag has been very important to me personally. Under him I became the footballer, the man I am today. The coach talked to me a lot. He’s been very critical, in a good, constructive way. I won’t forget it any time soon.”
The Dutchman appears to have changed his stance on a transfer since then. United have emerged as front-runners in the race for Jurrien Timber, ahead of Bayern Munich. Daily Mirror understands that the Red Devils have begun negotiations with Ajax for the 20-year-old defender.
Jurrien Timber is a fantastic defensive profile, both centrally and in the wider regions. The Dutchman has also steadily grown in importance to Ten Hag’s system over the last two years. Timber managed to dislodge Perr Schuurs, one of Ajax’s most highly rated central defenders, from the starting XI last season. Since then, Timber has gone from strength to strength, consolidating his place in central defence, and effectively filling in at right-back too.
Timber is shorter than many centre-backs in world football. At 182 cm, the 20-year-old would be outmatched by all of United’s 5 central defenders. Timber wins just 1.5 aerial duels a game, with a success rate of 61% (stats via sofascore). However, the Dutchman is excellent at recovering second balls and contesting ground duels. Timber wins 69% of his ground duels and affects over 9 recoveries every game.
On the ball, Timber provides an excellent progressive outlet. The Dutchman is adept at carrying the ball forward or distributing play from the back. The Dutchman asserts himself physically and is not easy to dispossess.
- Major Setback for United as €70m Rated Midfielder Would Turn Down Offer due to Lack of CL Football
- Manchester United Looking to Sign €25m Rated Bundesliga Right-back for a Cut-price Deal
- Man United Revive Interest in €60m Rated Spanish Defender, Bookmarked as One of the Prime Targets This Summer
Timber also likes to join the midfield line when his team are in possession. This can happen when he’s playing as a centre-back or from the right-back position.
Timber is one of the most sought-after talents in world football right now. The Dutchman offers great versatility and technical ability from the deeper positions. Timber would also fit right into Ten Hag’s project at Old Trafford. Signing the 20-year-old would represent a step in the right direction for the Red Devils.
Follow AD for the Latest Transfer Updates for Manchester United.