Arsenal defender Jurrien Timber has praised Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag for aiding his development.

We all know how Erik ten Hag likes to sign player he has already coached.

Antony and Lisandro Martinez followed Ten Hag from Ajax to Manchester United last summer.

Andre Onana has now joined from Inter Milan having also featured under Ten Hag in Amsterdam.

Others have been linked during Ten Hag’s time at the club, including defender Jurrien Timber…

Manchester United links to Jurren Timber were rife

Fabrizio Romano reported that Ajax rejected ‘multiple approaches’ from United for Timber last summer.

This was again brought up when Timber was spotted attending United’s FA Cup final defeat to Manchester City in June.

Romano also suggested in May that nobody in football thinks as highly of Timber as Ten Hag does, calling the United boss Timber’s ‘biggest fan’.

United ended up signing a different Ajax defender as Martinez arrived, giving Ten Hag the left-footed centre back he wanted.

Timber is right-footed and United already have players for that role; Raphael Varane, Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire spring to mind.

A deal just never quite worked out – and United must now face Timber in the Premier League moving forward…

Ajax v FC Emmen - Dutch Eredivisie
Photo by Angelo Blankespoor/Soccrates/Getty Images

Timber comments on Erik ten Hag after joining Arsenal

Timber has secured a move to Arsenal, leaving Ajax in a deal worth £34million rising to £38million.

The Dutchman will now be playing against United with a top four rival – but he still has huge respect for Ten Hag.

Speaking to The Mirror, Timber has credited Ten Hag with giving him more confidence and ultimately making him a better footballer.

Timber noted that he didn’t want to leave Ajax for United last summer as he felt an extra year at Ajax was better for his development.

Timber now feels that the Arsenal move has come at the right time, pitting him against former Ajax pals Ten Hag, Antony, Martinez and Onana.

“Erik ten Hag gave me confidence and made me a much better footballer,” said Timber. “I decided to stay an extra year at Ajax and develop as a player. Now the time feels right.”

“Every year I look at how I have grown as a defender — my ultimate goal is to become the best defender in the world. Last year I extended my contract and made agreements with the club about how I could leave.”

“I was able to enjoy the best football training imaginable at Ajax and make great strides. If you can give something back in return in the form of a transfer fee of around £40m, this has been the almost perfect picture. Of course, last season was disappointing, but before that I won two league titles and enjoyed wonderful years,” he added.

Related Topics