Jurrien Timber eyes return to Arsenal first-team squad ahead of Bournemouth game

Jurrien Timber to feature for Arsenal U21 today as he steps up ACL comeback

Arsenal defender Jurrien Timber is hoping to be available for selection when they host Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon, according to the Evening Standard.

The Netherlands international has not featured for Mikel Arteta’s side since the opening day of the 2023-24 campaign due to an injury but recently returned to action to play two games for the under-21s.

Timber featured in a competitive match for the first time in eight months when Arsenal under-21s took on their Blackburn Rovers counterparts last Monday, playing the entirety of the first-half before seeing action for 70 minutes against Liverpool under-21s on Sunday.

The 23-year-old has gained much-needed match fitness and will now hope to taste action for the first-team against the Cherries after he has been assessed during the week.

The North London derby was considered too early for him, and he would have been gutted to have missed out on such a game.

Arsenal remain top of the table after 35 games and will have to win their remaining three matches and hope Manchester City drop points for them to have a chance of winning their first title since 2004, and Timber’s return is a much-needed boost.

The former Ajax star was signed to provide the same balance Oleksandr Zinchenko provides on the left on the right side of the pitch and was seen as the right-sided equivalent of the Ukrainian.

Timber is capable of often cutting inside from his position at right-back and playing as an inverted right-back.

However, he can also play at left-back and centre-back, featuring on the left side of the defence in his last two games for the under-21s.

Ben White has established himself as the first-choice for Arsenal at right-back this term and will likely retain the spot next term, and Timber has to challenge Zinchenko and Takehiro Tomiyasu for the left-back spot if he wants a place in the Gunners’ starting XI going forward.

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