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Timber could make North London derby after stepping up recovery from ACL injury


Mikel Arteta has suggested Jurrien Timber could feature in Sunday’s North London derby against Tottenham, as he prepares to step up his recovery from injury by representing Arsenal’s under-21s.

Timber – a £34million signing from Ajax last July – has been sidelined since suffering an anterior ligament injury on the opening matchday of the Premier League season against Nottingham Forest.

Arsenal have repeatedly expressed hope that he will return for their final few games of the season as they battle Manchester City and Liverpool for the title, and he was pictured training on the grass during their winter training camp in Dubai.

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Last week, Arteta confirmed Timber would feature for the Gunners’ under-21s when they face Blackburn Rovers in Premier League 2 on Monday, describing an outing at that level as “the last step” for the Netherlands international.

While Tuesday’s clash with Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium will come too soon for the 22-year-old, he has not yet been ruled out of Sunday’s trip to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

“That’s a quick step. Let’s see how he feels today,” Arteta said when asked whether Timber might feature.

“He’s been training really well. He looks ready.

“He needs that exposure and after that, we’ll assess whether that game comes at the right time or if it’s too fast. We’ll try to get him with us for the final games.”


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Timber, who has 15 senior international caps, also hopes to represent the Oranje at Euro 2024 in Germany, but Arteta said he must prove his fitness if he is to make the tournament.

“At the moment, it looks really far because he hasn’t played any football. So let’s see how he goes tonight,” Timber said.

“Let’s see if he can contribute in an impactful way to our system, and then we’ll see what happens in the summer.”

Harry Carr
Harry Carr
Harry is a freelance sports journalist with experience of working for the Racing Post, Stats Perform, Opta Analyst and more, covering major events across all sports but holding a particular love for the beautiful game.


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