Arsenal ‘reach full agreement’ to sign £38m 22-year-old ideal for Arteta’s defensive plans

Jason Soutar
New Arsenal signing Jurrien Timber.
Jurrien Timber agrees a deal to join Arsenal for around £38m.

Arsenal have now reached a ‘full agreement’ with Ajax to sign Netherlands defender Jurrien Timber, according to David Ornstein.

The Gunners have already confirmed the £65million signing of Kai Havertz from Chelsea and are now set to add Timber and West Ham midfielder Declan Rice.

Mikel Arteta’s side will pay an initial £100m plus £5m in add-ons for the latter, which will smash their club-record deal, currently held by Nicolas Pepe, who cost £72m.

Havertz will help bolster Arteta’s midfield and frontline, while Rice can operate as a deep-lying playmaker, as well as a box-to-box midfielder, and Timber ticks all the boxes for a centre-back and right-back.

Signing versatile players is clearly something the Spanish manager is focusing on, while ensuring new signings fall into the same age bracket.

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Rice is 24 years old but has made 245 senior appearances for West Ham, leading them to glory in the Europa Conference League last season, and also has 43 caps for England, helping them reach the final of Euro 2020.

Havertz, meanwhile, has only just turned 24 but has 289 senior appearances for Chelsea and Bayer Leverkusen and 37 caps for Germany.

Timber is the youngest of the three at 22. He has played 15 times for the Netherlands and has won three major trophies in 121 appearances for Ajax. Furthermore, he was named Dutch Footballer of the Year in 2022.

Valued at €42million by Transfermarkt, Arsenal have agreed a deal to sign the Dutch defender for an initial fee lower than his market value, even with two years remaining on his current contract.

This is according to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, who says the Gunners have ‘reached a full agreement’ to sign the Ajax man for ‘€40m (£34.3m) plus €5m (£4.3m) in largely realistic bonuses’.

Timber has now been ‘granted permission’ to finalise personal terms with the London club and undergo a medical.

The 22-year-old is naturally a centre-back, but can operate on the right side of a back four.

With Arteta likely to adopt a similar system to 2022/23, with Ben White operating as an inverted full-back, Timber is expected to take on a similar role in his squad.

Arsenal are competing in the Champions League, Premier League and two cup competitions next season, so there will be plenty of minutes available for Timber.

Last season, the Gunners lost William Saliba to injury for the title run-in with Manchester City. His absence cost them dearly with Rob Holding coming in as a replacement.

It could have been a different story if Arteta had Timber ready to come in for Saliba…

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