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Man Utd still keeping tabs on Jurrien Timber

Manchester United could seemingly revive their interest in Ajax defender Jurrien Timber, having been linked with a move for the Dutchman during the summer.

What’s the word?

According to The Sun, the 21-year-old is one of a number of young talents in Holland that United boss Erik ten Hag is keen to track, with the Red Devils said to have been continuing to monitor the centre-back since missing out on a deal during the previous window.

The suggestion at the time was that the Old Trafford outfit had begun talks regarding a potential move for the 14-cap titan – who was valued at around £43m – albeit with the youngster eventually opting to sign a contract extension with the Eredivisie side, while Ten Hag and co turned to his centre-back partner, Lisandro Martinez, instead.

This latest report appears to indicate that another move in the near future is certainly not off the table, with the Premier League giants having only recently bolstered their ranks with the addition of Timber’s compatriot, Wout Weghorst.

Bye-bye Maguire?

A new addition at the heart of the backline has been mooted amid the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the future of club captain Harry Maguire, with The Guardian recently claiming that the England international could be moved on at the end of the season.

The 29-year-old has evidently fallen way down the pecking order this season having started just four games in the top flight to date, with the hefty, 4-0 defeat to Brentford at the start of the campaign subsequently seeing him resigned to a watching brief.

Those woes were laid bare by the fact that Ten Hag even favoured Luke Shaw to partner experienced ace Raphael Varane in the centre of defence for the recent triumph over Manchester City, with it arguably looking as if the former Leicester City man’s time at the Theatre of Dreams is now “done“, as per talkSPORT pundit Danny Murphy.

With Maguire clearly not suited to his manager’s style – with journalist Jamie Jackson stating that the Sheffield-born brute’s ‘sluggish pace’ is viewed as a ‘problem’ – it may seemingly be wise to secure a replacement who is more familiar with Ten Hag’s demands, in the form Timber.

The latter man would offer no real concerns over his recovery speed, having been lauded by talent scout Jacek Kulig in recent times, who stated that despite not being the “tallest defender”, his “understanding of the game, anticipation, pace and ball skills are exceptional.

Although the Utrecht-born ace may not offer the same imposing presence as Maguire due to his 5 foot 10 frame, he is still a relentless defensive asset regardless, having averaged 1.1 tackles and 1.2 interceptions in the league this season, while also winning 53% of his aerial duels.

The current United skipper, by contrast, has averaged just 0.5 tackles and 0.9 interceptions in the top flight so far this term, while the 6 foot 4 colossus also equals the Ajax starlet in terms of aerial duels won, despite his considerable height advantage.

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The difference in quality between the pair is also laid bare by their quality in possession, with Timber notably averaging 5.72 progressive passes and 0.72 successful dribbles per game in all competitions, as well as enjoying a pass accuracy rate of 91.2%, as per FBref.

Maguire, however, only averages 2.37 progressive passes and 0.12 successful dribbles to illustrate his creative failings, while also proving something of a liability on the ball as he has a pass accuracy rate of only 86.5%.

As such, it is no surprise to see that the Englishman could well be moved on sooner rather than later, with that exit potentially set to be hastened by the arrival of the impressive Timber.