12 things you might not know about Jurrien Timber | Function | News

Dutch international Jurrien Timber has become our second signing of the summer after joining from Ajax.

The 22-year-old defender has won the Eredivisie twice and also featured for his country at both Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup, but how much more do you know about our latest recruit?

To help you get up to speed, here are 12 facts you might not know about our new issue 12:

Double Dutch

Jurrien has four brothers, including a twin, Quinten, who plays for Feyenoord. Quinten won his first Eredivisie title last season – a trophy Jurrien had lifted in the previous two seasons as the Timbers kept the Dutch championship in the family.

There is also another footballer in the Timber family – older brother Dylan recently signed with VVV-Venlo in the Dutch second tier and has been beaten once by Curacao.

Utrecht alumni

Jurrien’s birthplace is Utrecht, and our new signing is not the only famous sportsman to hail from the Netherlands’ fourth most populous city.

Dutch legend Marco van Basten, one of Holland’s foremost footballers, and sprinter Dafne Schippers, an Olympic silver medalist and two-time world champion over 200 metres, were also born in Utrecht, as was Anton Geesink, who won a judo gold medal at 1964 Olympics.

Curacao connection

Jurrien has both Aruban and Curacao roots – his mother Marilyn is from Aruba and their father is from Curacao, with both islands part of the Dutch Caribbean just off the coast of Venezuela.

He often visits the Caribbean in his downtime away from football, and has previously named the region as his favorite holiday destination.

Seeing De Ligt

Jurrien looked up to defender Matthijs de Ligt as he rose through the ranks at Ajax, who had made his first-team debut four years before Jurrien would pull on the famous red and white shirt of the Amsterdam club.

De Ligt, like Jurrien, graduated from Ajax’s academy, and while he went on to play for Juventus and Bayern Munich, Jurrien would get the chance to play alongside his role model at both the 2020 European Championship and the 2022 World Cup.

Increases in degrees

Jurrien played international youth football for the Netherlands at under-15, under-16, under-17, under-19 and under-21 levels before being called up to the national side by Frank de Boer ahead of Euro 2020.

He won his first full cap in a 2–2 draw against Scotland in June 2021 – a game in which Kieran Tierney also started. He has since won 15 caps, including four at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, where his side reached the quarter-finals before being eliminated by eventual winners Argentina.

Haven’t we met before?

Jurrien was part of the Dutch under-17 European Championship winning team in 2018 when he first met a couple of future Gunners teammates.

The Netherlands played against England in the semi-finals, where Jurrien went up against both Bukayo Saka and Folarin Balogun. It proved to be a game to remember for our new defender who scored the opening goal of the final and also converted from 12 yards after the game went to penalties.

In fact, all three of Holland’s knockout games in the tournament went to shootouts, with Jurrien scoring from the spot in all three to help them to silverware.

First goal, first title

Despite not finding the net within a year of his professional debut, Jurrien ended up choosing the perfect time to score his first senior goal, which came against Emmen on 2 May 2021.

Playing at centre-back, he was heavily involved in the build-up before firing a shot from the edge of the box to open the scoring in an eventual 4–0 win that confirmed Ajax as Eredivisie champions for the 35th time, and so Jurrien claims the first major honors of his career.

Individual honors

After making his Ajax debut back in March 2020 and going on to play 30 times the following campaign, 2021/22 proved to be Jurrien’s breakout season as he rose to prominence in his homeland and far away.

In addition to lifting another Eredivisie title, he won the league’s Player of the Year and Talent of the Year awards as well as Ajax’s Talent of the Year. These accolades also helped him win Curacao Player of the Year for 2021.

Dutch joy

When Jurrien is presented with his Arsenal bow by Mikel Arteta, he will become the eighth Dutch player to feature in our men’s first team – but you may not know that our history with the nation stretches back nearly a century.

Goalkeeper Gerry Keyser made 12 league appearances under Herbert Chapman in our first ever title-winning season in 1930/31 and, like Jurrien, also featured for Ajax before going on to play for his national team, starting a trend that has seen his compatriots Glenn Helder, Dennis Bergkamp, ​​Marc Overmars, Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Robin van Persie and Nacer Barazite are also with us.

Great praise

After breaking into the Dutch side, two of his defensive colleagues were quick to spot Jurrien’s talent. “I’ve never been that good at his age,” said Virgil van Dijk, while club and country team-mate Daley Blind added: “I don’t need to explain how good he is.”

Perhaps the greatest praise, however, came from the legendary Van Basten: “Ajax plays fantastic football thanks to Jurrien Timber, and the national team also plays fantastic football thanks to him,” he said of his Utrecht colleague.

From Amsterdam to Arsenal

Jurrien is not the first defender to join us from Ajax – that would be Thomas Vermaelen, who also made the move in the summer of 2009, and went on to make 150 appearances for us, scoring 15 times between 2009 and 2014.

The road between Amsterdam and North London is well trodden, with Overmars also switching ahead of our double-winning campaign in 1997/98.

A new number

Jurrien is our new No.12 – becoming the eighth player to wear the number for us this century, including Thierry Henry, who famously donned it on his return in 2012.

The other six players who have been handed it are Lauren, Carlos Vela, Olivier Giroud, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Willian and William Saliba, who has now switched to the No.2 shirt ahead of the new campaign.

Copyright 2023 The Arsenal Football Club Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted provided appropriate credit is given to www.arsenal.com as the source.

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