This is why Ten Hag would like to take Timber from Ajax to Manchester United

Friday, April 8, 2022 at 5:05 PM• Daniel Cabot Kerkdijk • Last update: 17:08

If Erik ten Hag definitively becomes the new manager of Manchester United, Jurriën Timber is reportedly one of the players the coach is eager to take to the Premier League. Together with Football Transfers Voetbalzone looks at why the twenty-year-old defender of Ajax is so popular with his trainer.

Quinten Timber’s twin brother is one of the absolute revelations this season on the Dutch and European fields. It’s not for nothing that he gets by Football Transfers seen as Europe’s greatest defensive talent, ahead of Paris Saint-Germain’s Nuno Mendes, for example. Together with Lisandro Martínez, he was on his way to the record for fewest goals against in the Eredivisie in Amsterdam, but the injuries of his Argentine colleague, himself and keeper Remko Pasveer threw a spanner in the works.

Despite his somewhat short height, 1 meter 79, Timber rarely gets into trouble defensively. Due to his excellent timing and good choice of position, he has won headers this season against Erling Braut Haaland, both against Borussia Dortmund and the Norwegian national team, and if he lets the striker win the game, he avoids the danger of that lost game. proceeds. Moreover, he can not only play in the center of the rear, but also as a right back.

Analyst Kenneth Perez even thought the defender was ‘too good’ for the current Ajax a few weeks ago. “Timber is so damn good. Is he then the benchmark for Ajax? No, he is too good for Ajax. Is Perr Schuurs then the benchmark? No, he’s just below it. You can say that Martínez is the benchmark, it’s in between,” the analyst of ESPN after Ajax’s 3-2 victory over RKC Waalwijk.

Timber did not make the biggest impression defensively, but at the ball, because with his countless carries He is internationally high on all data and scouting lists. In the Eredivisie, only Riechedly Bazoer of Vitesse can compete with Timber’s figures, according to data from SciSports. Feyenoord target Mees Hilgers, who is compared with Timber, also scores significantly lower. In terms of offensive dribbles, in addition to Bazoer, Lisandro Martínez is the only one comparable in Timber’s statistics.

The only danger of Timber’s attacking urge is that he sometimes pushes it too far. For example, in Ajax’s match against Benfica (2-2) in the Champions League, Timber lost the ball in the Portuguese’s sixteen-meter area, after which Benfica countered to the equalizer. An expensive goal, which ultimately contributed to the elimination of the team from Amsterdam, although that was of course not only due to Timber. At the time of the loss of the ball, for example, Daley Blind was also much too high on the field.

Nevertheless, Ten Hag sees Timber as the pivot of the new Manchester United, because the defender from the back can bring football back to the Red Devils† Although Timber rarely, if ever, gets into trouble in the Netherlands and the Champions League, the only danger is that the defender may not (yet) be able to handle it physically in the Premier League. This season, Timber has been struggling with some physical complaints in the busy program in recent months, as a result of which he had to miss the last international period of the Dutch national team and several Ajax matches. Can his body handle the overcrowded English schedule in the various competitions?

Transfer value
With its contract that runs until the summer of 2024, Ajax has good papers to ask a nice amount for Timber, whose contract will continue for another two years after the coming summer. According to Football Transfers his current market value is 36 million euros, more than 30 million euros higher than in January last year, when he was in the books for less than five million euros. Six months later, he made his debut under Frank de Boer in Orange at the age of nineteen at the European Championship, where he also made an excellent impression.

Timber, together with Gravenberch, is Football Transfers seen as the greatest talent in the Netherlands. Because the Ajax midfielder only has a contract until mid-2023, Bayern Munich ‘only’ wants to put 25 million euros on the table for him. The expectation is that Manchester United will therefore have to dig (a lot) deeper into Timber’s pockets, since he is still stuck in Amsterdam for more than two years.

Place at Manchester United
Although Manchester United’s rear guard is quite full at the moment, there seems to be plenty of space in the center back at Old Trafford. Harry Maguire, the most expensive defender ever, according to Football Transfers worth only half of the 87 million euros paid for him. Not only is there a lot of criticism, but he is so mediocre on the ball that he does not fit in a team that plays according to Ten Hag’s vision.

Raphaël Varane would be one of the players with whom Timber could form the central duo, while Victor Lindelöf is also a serious candidate. Eric Bailly will normally leave at the end of this season, as the Ivorian will barely get any playing time this season. That would more than clear the way for Timber, one of Ten Hag’s favorite players, at Old Trafford.