Manchester United are potentially eyeing a move for Erik Ten Hag’s current Ajax starlet, Jurrien Timber.
That is according to journalist Rudy Galetti, who took to his Twitter page to issue a statement regarding incoming Manchester United manager, Erik Ten Hag.
Galetti said this in his tweet: “Manchester United’s first signing of the Ten Hag era will most likely be a centre-back.”
He also suggested two names that United may be looking to bring in: “To date, on the MUFC list the hot names are Timber (Ajax) and Torres (Villareal).”
Of course, those two names are Jurrien Timber, who currently plays under Ten Hag and Pau Torres, with the latter being linked with Manchester United across the last few transfer windows.
As a right-footed centre-back who usually operates on the right in a four-man defence, Timber would not pose a threat to Harry Maguire’s starting spot… would he?
In actual fact, he would. Based on the pattern that Ten Hag has created at Ajax, the right-footed centre-back operates on the right, whilst the left-footed centre-back operates on the left.
When Ten Hag comes in, if he does not opt to bring in a left-footed centre-back, he will most likely hone in on Raphael Varane’s experience for Real Madrid as a left centre-back, a position he fulfilled at times. Varane is also listed as just 60% right-footed, according to FBref.
Timber would partner the France international in what would be a cool, calm and collected backline. Both centre-halves love having the ball at their feet and the potential signing of Timber would offer Ten Hag familiarity in this area.
The 20-year-old boasts some serious numbers that place him in the elite category for the majority of his passing stats, with his average of 76 passes completed per 90 far better than Maguire’s average of 48 passes per 90.
Timber, who has been described as a “top talent” as per UEFA Champions League, also outdoes Maguire in almost all defensive metrics, with the £27m-rated defender having a seamless season in the Eredivisie in which he has made zero errors per 90 – the antithesis of the Englishman this season.
The signing of Timber could see Maguire lacking game time under Ten Hag, and based on this year’s stats, the new United boss would be right to drop him and potentially sell him too, as reports have suggested.