‘Realistic scenario’ for Arsenal injury return revealed with player not expected back until pre-season

Jason Soutar
Arsenal defender Jurrien Timber sits on the turf after sustaining a knee injury.
Jurrien Timber was injured on his Arsenal debut.

Arsenal defender Jurrien Timber is not expected to play again this season and is a doubt to make the Netherlands’ Euro 2024 squad, according to reports.

Timber joined the Gunners from Ajax for £34.3million in the summer transfer window.

He sold Arsenal fans a dream in his first few appearances for the club, especially in his side’s Community Shield victory over Manchester City.

On his Premier League debut against Nottingham Forest, the Dutch international tore his ACL.

Asked about Timber’s situation in August, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta said: “Huge blow. Especially for him after just joining the club. To have the injury he has is a huge blow.

“It is for the team because we recruited him with clear intentions and what he was bringing to the team was evident and he’s not going to be able to do it this season for us. We have to adapt. These things happen unfortunately and we have to move on.

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“He’s been very good to be honest. He’s a special character. He knows, he’s starting to realise the extent of the injury and the amount of time he’s going to be out. But he’s in a good place.

“We are willing to help him obviously and be close to him, but we know it’s going to be a long journey.”

There have been some hopes that Timber would return before the 2023/24 season comes to an end, especially with the European Championships taking place in Germany next summer.

However, a report from Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad (via Sport Witness) says Arsenal fear the 22-year-old will be out until pre-season in 2024.

Netherlands manager Ronald Koeman is said to be keeping an eye on Timber’s fitness ahead of Euro 2024 and the Arsenal star is on his 40-man shortlist to choose his 26-man squad from.

The newspaper claims that Timber was ‘always a certainty’ to be named in Koeman’s squad and there is some hope that he will be available.

The ‘realistic scenario’ is that Arsenal will make a decision next year with the current expectation that a return for pre-season ahead of 24/25 is the best case.

But the report states that ‘you never know’, so all hope is not lost just yet.

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