Jurrien Timber’s Gunners comeback performance rated by Arsenal coach | Football

Jurrien Timber made an impressive comeback from injury for Arsenal’s Under-21 side (Picture: Getty)

Arsenal Under-21 coach Mehmet Ali hailed the impact of Jurrien Timber after the summer signing from Ajax made a dream return to action following an eight month injury lay-off.

The Netherlands international looked set to play a prominent role for the Gunners this season after he impressed during pre-season.

Indeed, the £34million summer signing from Ajax started the current campaign at left-back and produced an accomplished display in the Community Shield victory over Manchester City.

Timber, however, suffered a huge setback on the opening day of the Premier League season when he sustained a cruciate knee ligament injury against Nottingham Forest.

It has ben a grueling road to recovery for the 22-year-old but he took his most significant step yet on Monday evening after he completed 45 minutes at Ewood Park against Blackburn.

The undoubted highlight of Timber’s return came early on when he scored a sensational goal, cutting in from his position at left-back and whipping a sensational right-footed shot into the far corner.

‘It’s been great having him and the lads gave him a round of applause in our pre-match meeting,’ said Ali after a 2-2 draw, reflecting on the impact Timber has had on Arsenal’s youngsters.

Jurrien Timber clapping on pitch during his Arsenal return

Jurrien Timber scored a sensational goal on his Arsenal return (Picture: Getty)

‘It’s never easy to be a professional footballer and suffer the injury that he had and miss a lot of football.

‘He’s come into a new country and it’s been difficult for him but since his return, he’s been excellent. Whether that’s been training with the first team or training with us, he’s been a real good role model for the younger players and his performance showed that this evening.

‘He scored a very good goal showing tremendous ability to execute that finish. His decision-making and his whole performance for 45 minutes was very strong and the players will learn a lot through watching him.’

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web
browser that
supports HTML5
video

Whether Timber is able to represent the first team before now and the end of the season remains to be seen.

Mikel Arteta has rotated his left-backs in recent weeks with Oleksandr Zinchenko, Takehiro Tomiyasu and Jakub Kiwior all having started in the last three games.

Japan international Tomiyasu missed Saturday’s win over Wolves after picking up a knock against Bayern Munich and it is touch and go whether or not he features against Chelsea this evening.

Speaking about Timber’s recovery prior to the weekend win at Molineux, meanwhile, Arteta confirmed: ‘He’s going to play a game with the under-21s and after that we will see better where he is, how he felt.

‘He looks really good in training but it’s that last step now. We need to have the certainty that he’s ready to go.

‘He can play in both positions right and left full-back in relation to the game and the players we have available.’


MORE : Arsenal vs Chelsea: Confirmed team news, injury latest and predicted lineups


MORE : Mikel Arteta names the advantage Arsenal have over Manchester City and Liverpool in title race


MORE : Keir Starmer throws weight behind offside rule reform after Coventry VAR decision