Arsenal defender Jurrien Timber suffers anterior cruciate ligament injury

Noah Strang
By:
Noah Strang
18/08/2023
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Jurrien Timber has suffered a serious ACL injury

Arsenal have confirmed that the injury suffered by defender Jurrien Timber in last week’s match against Nottingham Forest is an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury.

News Insights

  • Timber joined Arsenal this summer from Dutch side Ajax for £34.7m ($68.8m AUD).
  • Timber out for “a period of time”
  • Timber injury may not affect Arsenal summer transfer plans
  • Oleksandr Zinchenko will likely take Timber’s place.

Netherlands international and Arsenal defender Jurrien Timber has suffered an anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury. The club confirmed this injury in a statement released on Wednesday. 

Per the club statement, “Further to detailed assessments with consultant specialists since Saturday”, confirmed, “that Jurrien has sustained an injury to his anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.”

Timber joined Arsenal this summer from Dutch side Ajax for £34.7m ($68.8m AUD). He suffered his injury 50 minutes into his Arsenal debut against Nottingham Forest last weekend. 

 No timetable for return for Timber

The Gunners have not confirmed the extent of Timber’s injury nor the amount of time the club expects him to be away with injury. 

In their club statement, Arsenal disclosed “Jurrien will undergo surgery in the coming days and will be out of action for a period of time. The support and expertise from our medical team and everyone at the club will now be focussed on Jurrien’s rehabilitation program, to ensure he recovers well and is back playing as soon as possible.

ACL injuries can sideline players or up to a year, or longer, depending on the severity of the injury and whether surgeries are successful. The return can be tough as it can affect a player’s lateral movement. 

Timber is unfortunately not the only player to suffer an ACL injury early in the season. Aston Villa’s Emi Buendia and Tyrone Mings also injured their ACLs to start this season. 

Chelsea’s Wesley Fofana, Tottenham’s Rodrigo Bentancur, and Brighton’s Jakub Moder are unavailable to their clubs due to ACL injuries. Moder has been out injured for well over a year. 

Arsenal transfer plans remain unchanged

Improving his defence was a key goal for Gunners’ manager Mikael Arteta heading into this season, so this injury is sure to be a major blow at the Emirates. Despite this being a major injury, it has not seemed to affect Arsenal’s summer transfer plans.

The Gunners are still looking to move on left-back Nuno Tavares this summer. Some reports claim Arsenal may be looking into signing RB Leipzig defender Mohamed Simakan for £35m ($69.3 AUD). However, these reports emerged prior to Timber’s injury. Outside of signing another centre-back, the majority of reports claim the Gunners are happy with their squad and will not be making any more moves.

Arsenal have already spent nearly £200m ($396m AUD) on transfers this summer. There may not be an appetite at the Emirates to spend more this summer.  

With that being said, adding depth was a major concern for the Gunners in this transfer market. Last season, Arsenal fell down to second following a late-season slump. 

Most betting sites have Arsenal finishing second again this season, so it would not be entirely surprising to see the Gunners go back into the market to try to close the gap between them and Man City.

Arsenal’s backup options

If Arsenal do not bring in a Jurrien Timber replacement, Oleksandr Zinchenko will likely take his place at left back with Kieran Tierney as his backup. Some rumours have linked Tierney away from the club this summer. The Timber injury makes such a move much less likely. 

Timber can also play centre and right back. Ben White, Gabriel, and Takehiro Tomiyasu will take up the lion’s share of Timber’s minutes at those positions unless Arsenal dip back into the transfer market for another right back, which is their thinnest position. 

Arsenal defender Jurrien Timber could be out for the rest of the season after suffering an ACL injury against Nottingham Forest last week. 

There are conflicting reports about whether Arsenal will dive back into the transfer market to replace Timber.