Jurrien Timber can target Arsenal full comeback at Manchester United as Bournemouth plan nears

Jurrien Timber is closing on his full Arsenal return after another start for the youth side with Manchester United targeted.

Arsenal enjoyed a fruitful weekend as they won the North London Derby at Tottenham Hotspur, with goals from Bukayo Saka and Kai Havertz with some help from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg. While the game was unfolding, however, up north one of their summer signings was starting his second successive game.

Jurrien Timber stole last Monday’s headlines when he scored a stunning strike on his return to the field for Arsenal’s under-21s against Blackburn. He curled an effort into the ‘top bins’ of the goal's right-hand side, which saw highlight reels pepper social feeds through until the Chelsea game the following night.

The Netherlands international had been hoped by many to potentially have been fit enough to make the squad against Spurs but it wasn’t to be, and for good reason. Had he been featured it likely would have been for only a restricted number of minutes whereas he started again as the u21s beat Liverpool’s own youth side 2-0.

Where he came off at half-time against Blackburn, this time he played 71 minutes stepping up his recovery. Mikel Arteta appeared to hint however he was in contention for the squad to face Tottenham, clearly, it was thought more beneficial for him to play with the kids for another clash though.

“We have to make that decision [Saturday] after the training session,” he said. “He’s very close, I don’t know if this is too early, but he’s very close now.”

Now Timber has a whole week to train before Arsenal face their next opponent. A decent Bournemouth side visit the Emirates Stadium looking to avoid the late drama of last season’s 3-2 defeat and instead put a big dent in the Gunners’ title charge.

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It is unlikely that Timber would come straight back into the starting line-up, with the defender more likely to come off the bench for the game. Gabriel Jesus followed a similar pathway from his knee injury last season as he came off the bench away at Fulham.

He also came off the bench a further time before starting and scoring twice in the 4-1 win over Leeds United. However, the difference is that he didn’t play any games with the under-21s and did enter the senior scene more immediately than Timber will.

If Timber does come off the bench for a significant spell against the Cherries, it sets up the possibility of a full return in the penultimate match of the campaign, away at Old Trafford. Arsenal need to win their final three games to maximise their chances of winning the title.

They’ve amassed 40 points from their last available 45 and could get 49 from 54 and still not win the league. These are the standards but a player like Timber returning will be a huge boost, although his absence has been felt considerably as he will aim to show in the coming weeks.