Watch: Jurrien Timber scores sensational goal just eight minutes into Arsenal comeback

Jurrien Timber scoring for Arsenal's Under-21s at Blackburn
Jurrien Timber could feature for Arsenal's first team before the end of the season - Getty Images/David Price

Jurrien Timber, Arsenal’s £39 million summer signing, scored a sensational long-range goal just eight minutes into his comeback from a long-term knee injury.

Timber stepped up his rehabilitation from an anterior cruciate ligament injury by representing Arsenal’s under-21s in their 2-2 draw at Blackburn Rovers on Monday night.

The Dutch international, who can play as a left-back or right-back, cut inside from the left before launching an unstoppable strike into the top corner to give Arsenal an early lead at Ewood Park.

Timber played the first 45 minutes before he was substituted and will now look to make his first-team return in the coming days.

Mikel Arteta, the Arsenal manager, did not rule out the possibility of Timber being available for selection for Sunday’s north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur.

“That is a quick step,” said the Arsenal manager on Monday afternoon. “Let’s see how he feels today [against Blackburn]. He’s been training really good. He looks ready.

“He needs that exposure and after that, we will assess whether that game comes at the right time or too fast. We will try to get him with us for the final games.”

Timber was an important summer signing from Ajax and was fundamental to Arteta’s plans to evolve his team this year.

Earlier this season, Arteta said the defender “has a quality that nobody else has in the back line to actually affect, especially in the attacking phases, things that we do, in two or three positions.”

The 22-year-old starred in the Community Shield victory over Manchester City at the start of the season but lasted just 50 minutes of the opening Premier League game, against Nottingham Forest, before suffering his serious knee injury.

Timber has remained close to the Arsenal squad throughout his recovery process, and has often been with the team in the tunnel before and after home matches. He has also been included in Arteta’s tactical meetings throughout the season, despite his unavailability.

“It has been eight months, you know,” said Timber. “To be honest, I still don’t really know how to feel, but just being out there feels amazing. Even now, it feels strange for me as well. It’s amazing, it’s been eight months. I feel happy, feel blessed to be out there and it was nice scoring a goal as well.

“I didn’t realise I was even scoring a goal, because I don’t score a lot, maybe that’s changed since my rehab – let’s see! But it felt amazing, it felt like everything we worked for in the eight months out.”