Do Arsenal really need a new defender to cover for the injured Jurrien Timber

Jurrien Timber has had a tough start to life at the Emirates; he was only minutes into his Arsenal debut, only to end up being forced out due to injury. The Dutch tactician missing Arsenal’s games in the next few months could blow Arteta’s plans.

Rumours are swirling around that the Gunners could be looking for another defender. But one may ask: Are Arsenal in need of another defensive reinforcement? In his Caught Offside column, the Ligue 1 expert Jonathan Johnson suggests that Arsenal may not be desperate to recruit another defender. The France-based football expert suggested dismissing Joules Kounde’s possible move to Arsenal.

He said: “There was speculation surrounding Jules Kounde’s future at Barcelona earlier this summer, and with Jurrien Timber’s injury at Arsenal, links have resurfaced about Mikel Arteta possibly trying to bring the Frenchman to the Emirates Stadium.

“However, I would be surprised if the Gunners rush back into the market despite this setback. The defence seems fairly well stacked, and although Kounde is a quality and versatile player, he has a price tag to match, and Arsenal have already spent a fair bit this summer.”

From Johnson’s claims, I’m forced to consider Arsenal’s defensive backups, and I can agree there are good options for Arteta to survive without the Dutch international. At right back we have Ben White, Thomas Partey, and Tomiyasu are options. At left-back, Oleksandr Zinchenko and Jakub Kiwior (and Tomiyasu) are options. Gabriel, William Saliba, Ben White, and Kiwior are options at central defence.

Yes, the Arsenal defence will miss Timber, but they can do without replacing him, so they need not be desperate to get his replacement. If they are to get his replacement, they need to do it only if they get the right one; if not, there’s no need.

Daniel O

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Tags Kounde Timber


  1. Seems like we might be loaning Tierney out which makes zero sense.

    Besides needing him, if we loan him out that just lowers the potential revenue we can get from his sale down the line.

    If you don’t want him then sell him!

    1. Arsenal clearly want to sell him, but either there were no takers or only low bids.

      Unless I missed it, I didn’t hear of any club bidding for Tierney, which is strange as he’s a quality player. I can only guess clubs were put off a permanent transfer given his injury record.

      If no one is bidding, and Tierney wants to play, and we know he’s done the pecking order, it actually makes sense to get some sort of fee in loaning him out. In addition, his wages are off the books, and if he does well on loan, he keeps/improves in value, opposed to rarely playing for us and losing more value.

  2. If there was need purchasing him in the first place then there’s need replacing him.. I don’t rate kiwior at left back and Tierney is obviously leaving
    Which leaves us with an injury prone Zinchenko at left back.

    At right back Partey is only playing there to accommodate Harvertz, once the manager realises that Harvertz can’t do it, Thomas and Rice will move in together.
    I don’t know why Gabriel is reportedly moving but if he does alongside Tierney we don’t just need one replacement but two

    1. Kiwior played the inverted-LB role decently and Tomiyasu has also played well there as well. I bet Magalhaes can play the role too

      About Partey playing RB to accommodate Havertz, only Arteta knows the truth. But Havertz has actually been playing the left-AM role well, based on his aerial duel and other stats

      We don’t need another defender, because we’ve still got Holding. Rice has played CB for West Ham and Elneny has played the right-CB role once for Arsenal

      1. Gai, It would be unthinkable to sign another defender with the array of defenders available for Arteta. Except he doesn’t believe in his squad. BSaka will sooner or later experience a burn out Arteta need to think of someone to deputise for the Boy; Viera not strong and mobile enough to do that. Except if Nelson can be tried there. We can also plan for Evan Toney in January he confessed he likes Arsenal.

        1. I think Arsenal would only sign a new defender if they ship Holding out. As for Saka’s backup, maybe Havertz will play RW if necessary

    2. I think Partey is playing RB, because no other player seems to do well as an inverted RB.
      My guess is, it was seen as a temporary solution untill Zinchenko was back at LB and Timber would have been moved to RB.
      Doubt Partey’s RB has anything at all to do with Havertz.

  3. They are loaning Tierney to R.Sociedad,so there are left with only 6 players to cover the 8 positions in the back line:White-Saliba-Gabriel-Zinchenko plus Tomy and Kiwior as they getting rid of Holding,Soares,Tavarez.Very extrange situation.


    1. Yes I agree with Georgy – we will only have 6 defenders & surely we need 8 to cover defence. Therefore, we would need to buy another defender (probably a cover for Saliba) & then we could promote Ruell Walters to 1st team squad.
      Then at least we would have 8 defenders & be able to rest the White/Saliba/Gabriel/ Zinc combination in domestic cup comps.

  4. I think loaning or selling Tierney is a big mistake for this season at least. He’s a very useful and good defender and we need him this season

  5. Love KT and once thought he would be our captain of our beloved AFC
    unfortunately it looks like MA doesn’t trust him as the inverted RB. When you watch him in that position he does look awkward so I understand.
    When we need to dig in and ay a flat back 4 and have someone bomb up the wings then there is no one better
    Be a sham if he did leave but life goes on.
    Personally I think we have enough defenders who can do that job. Losing Timber will be a big loose even in those few games he looked like he was made for that position for us

  6. I don’t know where this rumors of Gabriel leaving is coming from, I think he didn’t start our first two games due to the gaffer new tactics, Fabrizio also confirm that Arsenal will not entertain any deal even if a bid in excess of 170M comes

  7. What Arsenal needs is another powerful box to box midfielder that can be call upon in a full back roll if needs be.

    That player should be no other than Inter Millan Barella.

  8. Why do some people always cote players that we don’t have and are unlikely to get like Barella? Is it to show that they know players of different clubs or what? If we are talking of players to step into Timber’s position then we have to look at the players we have and there are a number: Kiwior, Tomiyasu, Zinchenko or even some from the academy. It is unrealistic to buy players whenever you get an injury! How big will your squad be? Besides these players are not volunteers; they must be paid. I doubt if there is any club which can afford to pay more than 30 players, not even the big money ones like PSG and Man city or even the Saudi ones. Thus is prudent to talk of what is reasonable and achievable rather than hypothetical issues.

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