Mikel Arteta rates Jurrien Timber debut after Arsenal thrash MLS All-Stars | Football


Jurrien Timber made a positive impression on his Arsenal debut (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta was enthused after watching Jurrien Timber make an eye-catching debut in Arsenal’s 5-0 win over MLS All-Stars.

The Netherlands international only linked up with his new teammates last week following his £40million transfer from Ajax but appears to have taken little time settling in on last night’s evidence.

Timber started on the bench in Washington, but caught the eye with an encouraging second half 35-minute cameo.

Asked to assess Timber’s performance, Arteta said: ‘I think you’ve seen tonight that he’s a really versatile player, you can see him defend in those positions.

‘He gives you the capacity to invert, to occupy different spaces. He’s so comfortable on the ball in that phase and he’s also got this aggression in the duels and that dynamism that I really like about him.

Jurrien Timber playing for Arsenal

Jurrien Timber will give Mikel Arteta multiple tactical options next season (Picture: Getty)

‘You saw from the first action; he went and won the ball straight away on that duel and he was ready to go. He’s been like that in the last few days – he’s playing really well with the team, and I think he’s going to be a really important player for us.’

Kai Havertz, meanwhile, put behind him the difficulties he experienced during the Skills Challenge 24 hours earlier to net his first Arsenal goal, while Declan Rice also enjoyed a first run out for his new club.

‘They are and we have to find that fluidity within the game, and those relationships,’ Arteta said of his new signings.

‘That’s something that is difficult to predict as a coach what’s going to work, but sometimes whether it’s on the pitch or sitting at the table, and they find that chemistry between them.

‘Especially, in the first half, the way we started, we were a bit suffocated with the weather, and we started to give too many simple balls away, and we could not really control the game.

‘But it was true that we were exceptional in both boxes today; every time we were in the final third in good positions, we put the ball in the back of the net, and we have to defend moments in those transitions when we give the ball away. I think we defended really well, as well.’

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