‘You want to win prizes’: Timber insists Arsenal will fight for title next season

<span>Jurriën Timber made his first appearance since <a class="link " href="" data-i13n="sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link" data-ylk="slk:Arsenal;sec:content-canvas;subsec:anchor_text;elm:context_link;itc:0">Arsenal</a>’s first game of the season.</span><span>Photograph: Catherine Ivill/AMA/Getty Images</span>

Jurriën Timber expects Arsenal will continue to improve under Mikel Arteta and mount another Premier League title challenge next season after the disappointment of missing out to Manchester City on the final day.

The Dutchman came on against Everton on Sunday for his first appearance since injuring an anterior cruciate ligament in Arsenal’s opening game. Timber, who cost an initial £34m from Ajax last summer, said he had mixed emotions because City’s win over West Ham confirmed them as champions for a fourth successive season.

Related: ‘We have to bare our teeth’: Mikel Arteta calls on Arsenal to repeat title challenge

But asked whether the best years were to come for Arsenal’s youthful squad, the 22-year-old said: “It definitely feels like that. You feel that this team is not finished yet. It’s a good place to be with these guys. I had a feeling we deserved this year to win it. In a lot of aspects of the game, we were really good this season. But, let’s be honest, City are also great. It is always hard, but we were close. Next season we are going to try again.”

He added: “You want to win something. So, that is the hunger that will always stay there and also after you win it. But we need to win our first one still and, until that time, we will be hungry.”

Timber scored for Arsenal’s Under-21s on his first game back last month having initially not been expected to play again this season after surgery. He said playing against Everton had been some consolation after a difficult first season in the Premier League.

“It felt very good. A bit of a double emotion because we are not champions. But it was nice after all those months to be back. [This season] was really hard, but it was also nice to see everything up close with these guys. It has been a pleasure to watch them.”