Mikel Arteta open to additional Arsenal signings after Jurrien Timber injury


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Mikel Arteta is weighing up whether to go back into the transfer market after new signing Jurrien Timber suffered an ACL injury and admitted he has “big worries” about the heavy fixture schedule at the top level contributing to a spike in injuries.

Timber broke down in the 50th minute of the league opener against Nottingham Forest after initially receiving treatment shortly before half-time.

It is understood that the damage was done making his way into a challenge with Brennan Johnson but Timber did not display any immediate signs of discomfort on the pitch or at half-time.

Timber passed the tests he underwent during the break but they are not always conclusive. Having impressed since making the move from Ajax in the summer his enthusiasm to keep playing saw him return for the second half but his knee quickly buckled when stepping backwards.

The Dutch defender is now set to undergo surgery with an exact timeline on his return not certain but it is an isolated ACL injury with no collateral damage to other ligaments.

“Huge blow,” said Arteta. “Especially for him after just joining the club. To have the injury he has is a huge blow for the team because we recruited him with clear intentions. What he was bringing to the team was evident and he’s not going to be able to do it this season for us. We have to adapt. These things happen unfortunately and we have to move on.

“He’s (reacted) very good to be honest. He’s a special character. He knows, he’s starting to realise the extent of the injury and the amount of time he’s going to be out. But he’s in a good place. We are willing to help him obviously and be close to him but we know it’s going to be a long journey.”

Arteta has been heavily supported this window, signing Timber, Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and goalkeeper David Raya.

Timber’s injury deprives him of a versatile option and he did not rule out adding another player to compensate for the absence of the £35 million man.

“We didn’t plan with this injury. We have to assess what the options are, what are the best players that we have because, as I said, my challenge is to get the best from the players that we have,” Arteta said.

“I cannot assess anyone who is not here. We are always open and we have to be open as well to react if something happens, not only with an injury but if something happens in the market as well. That’s what we’re doing.

“It’s never my own decision, it’s one we make with the club and involves a lot of elements to it. My focus is on getting the best out of my squad and we are open to the transfer window both ways as we still have things to do both ways, maybe.”

Timber adds to Christopher Nkunku and Tyrone Mings in the list of players to have been ruled out by serious knee injuries at the top level of the game.

Arteta expressed his fears over the congested fixture schedule at the elite level and believes there could be a correlation to why so many have occurred by August.

“Also (Emi) Buendia, (Thibaut) Courtois, it happened to (Eder) Militao as well – there is something there,” he said.

“In the past you can say, yes there have been games, there have been tours as well. But with games, tours, the World Cup in January, plus this, plus that, plus internationals. It is a lot. It is too much for the players.

“It is incredibly demanding, when you see the next 36 months of the calendar for these players it is just better not to look at it because it is incredible what they are going to be doing.

“We have to look after them but, as a club, when do you look after them? To prioritise other competitions?

“Then we are the ones that have to look after them. What we really need is to be sitting down, but I think it is too late, at least for the next 36 months it is too late already.

“I don’t know who needs to raise a voice here but there are worries, big worries on that.”


Arsenal’s options without injured Timber – and what it might mean for Tierney

(Photo: Visionhaus/Getty Images)

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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