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Exclusive: Three transfer targets Arsenal considered to replace injured Jurrien Timber, according to expert
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Exclusive: Three transfer targets Arsenal considered to replace injured Jurrien Timber, according to expert

Sep 5, 2023

Arsenal decided against signing cover for the injured Jurrien Timber but did have three names they considered before the end of the summer, according to Ben Jacobs in his exclusive CaughtOffside column.

The Gunners were dealt an early blow this season when summer signing Timber went off injured against Nottingham Forest with a problem that later proved to be very serious and one which would be likely to rule him out for much of the season.

The highly-rated young Dutchman looked a superb addition from Ajax, but Arsenal were then left to ponder if they should look for alternatives in that area of the pitch.

According to Jacobs, Arsenal considered Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi, Benfica’s Alexander Bah and Galatasaray’s Victor Nelsson, though it seems there wasn’t particularly strong interest, and some issues with Guehi in particular.

Palace were not keen on losing Guehi, while he also would’ve been keen to play regularly, which wouldn’t be guaranteed at the Emirates Stadium.

“Arsenal decided against buying cover for the injured Jurrien Timber. Bringing in another defender was always only going to happen if the right fit became available,” Jacobs said.

“Timber was used as a left-back against Nottingham Forest, and Arsenal have Oleksandr Zinchenko, Takehiro Tomiyasu (who like Timber can play on both sides) and even Jakub Kiwior. And there is depth on the right because Thomas Partey and Ben White can both play right-back.

“That’s why I think Arteta is content with his defensive options even though Timber is out for several months. A lot of these players, Timber included, are extremely versatile and can play in two, or even three, different positions. So there was just no need for Arsenal to panic buy.

“The likes of Benfica’s Alexander Bah, Crystal Palace’s Marc Guehi and Galatasaray’s Victor Nelsson were all linked, but there was never a great deal of substance. Bah is a right-back and Nelsson and Guehi centre-backs, with the latter under contract until 2026 and not a player Palace wanted to lose. He would be the type of signing who would expect regular minutes.”

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