Arsenal have emerged as early protagonists in the 2023 summer transfer window and they could soon wrap up their first two deals.
Kai Havertz is expected to join the club in a £65m move from Chelsea and Jurrien Timber could swiftly follow him through the door. The versatile Dutch defender has his heart set on the Mikel Arteta project in north London and a deal is edging closer.
Timber’s arrival would undoubtedly bolster a backline that showed serious signs of improvement during the first half of the campaign. Depth issues manifested once again down the stretch, but a player of Timber’s calibre arriving would mean such woes won’t arise next term and beyond.
There’s plenty to dissect regarding this potential move, including which shirt he could take at the Emirates for 2023/24.
Here are the number options for Timber at Arsenal.
The 22-year-old has certainly developed an affinity for the number 2 shirt in his young senior career so far. It’s been his number for Ajax since 2020 after initially taking the 41 shirt following his breakthrough into the first team. Timber has also worn two for the Netherlands since 2021.
2 was Timber’s number of choice throughout his youth career, too. He wore this shirt for Ajax’s Under-17s, Under-19s, and Under-21s, as well as for Netherlands’ Under-17s and Under-19s.
However, Timber hasn’t exclusively worn 2. The defender wore 20, 15, 12 and 13 for the Dutch youth sides, as well as 14, 6, 20, 15, 16, 17, 3, 4 and 5 for Ajax’s youth teams. That’s a big mix.
Timber’s preferred 2 shirt is currently available, but he’ll have to fight William Saliba for it. The Frenchman, who wore 12 last season, is keen to switch to 2 for 2023/24. It was the shirt he wore when he excelled for Marseille out on loan.
If Saliba wins that tussle, Timber could possibly take 22, which will be vacated by Pablo Mari once he joins Monza, or 5 with Thomas Partey’s future in north London uncertain. Even if Kieran Tierney departs and the 3 shirt becomes free, it’d be pretty blasphemous for a right-sided player to wear that number.
Other feasible possibilities are Cedric’s 17, Nicolas Pepe’s 19 and Nuno Tavares’ 20. 15 is now free after Ainsley Maitland-Niles departed the club.