This is a common theme in the 22-year-old’s game. He is not afraid at taking risks but he is always ready to retrieve the ball if these risks don’t immediately pay off.

The Dutch international operates in a similar mentality with the ball at his feet. He is certainly not shy of demanding the ball straight from the goalkeeper, carrying it upfield and often beating the opposition press by using his dribbling ability or looking for a line-breaking option w

During a Champions League clash against Liverpool, as shown in the screenshots above, he showed his usefulness in the build-up phase. The 22-year-old demanded the ball straight from the goal kick despite the Reds pressing high.

He then uses his impressive close control to evade the first wave of the press before combining with his teammates further up the pitch, skipping past another couple of players before winning a free-kick for his side. That kind of fearlessness is exactly what is needed to thrive in Arsenal’s current setup, which puts a huge emphasis on playing your own way out of danger.

Inverting potential

Fullbacks inverting into midfield is a common theme these days. Gunners star Oleksandr Zinchenko may be a left-back on paper but he certainly doesn’t operate like a traditional one.

When his side are in possession, the Ukrainian international will often step into central midfield areas, offering himself as a spare man to help build attacks and offer numerical superiority to bypass the opposition press. Bringing in Timber certainly allows the north Londoners to replicate this more

In this collection of images, the talented youngster receives a precarious pass from his goalkeeper but he is able to bypass the press anyway thanks to some fancy footwork. Instead of opting to play the ball down the line, he steps into midfield.

A central punched pass helps break the opposition line, finding playmaker Mohammed Kudus in a dangerous area centrally. His impressive turning radius allows him to frequently skip past opposition players, often opting for a skilful spin move to find space – something that makes him perfect to play a more inverted role.

It is very possible that Timber initially just joins as a backup for first-choice right-back Ben White and first-choice right-centre-half Saliba. The Dutchman is still just 22 years old, with plenty of room to still develop.

His defensive strengths, on-ball skills and impressive versatility make him the perfect player to raise the ceiling of Arsenal’s depth ahead of what promises to be a hugely important 2023/24 season for Arteta’s side.