Jurrien Timber injury: Mikel Arteta offers update after Arsenal signing limps out of Premier League debut

Arsenal will assess Jurrien Timber after the club’s new signing was injured on his Premier League debut on Saturday.

The versatile Dutch defender, a £34million July arrival from Eredivisie giants Ajax, started alongside fellow new signings Declan Rice and Kai Havertz once again in a delayed home kick-off against Nottingham Forest, with another fresh recruit watching on from the stands in Brentford goalkeeper David Raya.

However, Timber’s afternoon lasted only 50 minutes amid concerned faces at the Emirates Stadium as he limped off with an apparent knee or calf issue, replaced by Takehiro Tomiyasu.

It was a key blow on an otherwise encouraging opening day for Arsenal, who, after the game was delayed by 30 minutes due to e-ticketing issues, saw Bukayo Saka net a scorcher after Eddie Nketiah’s deflected opener before surviving a late scare after Taiwo Awoniyi’s consolation off the bench for Forest to win 2-1.

Arteta is already without the likes of Oleksandr Zinchenko, Folarin Balogun, Reiss Nelson and Mohamed Elneny to start the season, while key striker Gabriel Jesus is also currently sidelined after undergoing a knee procedure last week.

The Spaniard will hope that Timber’s setback is nothing serious as he confirmed that there was no reason to take off the Netherlands international at half-time.

Arteta said: “The doctors looked at him and they were happy for him to continue, he was as well. Straight away in the first action of the second half he made a movement and it was a bit funny.

“We took him out straight after and now we have to assess him and see what he has.”

 

One selection surprise that Arteta sprang against Forest was in defence, with midfielder Thomas Partey picked at right-back and Ben White named in central defence with William Saliba and Gabriel only a late substitute.

Quizzed as to if leaving the Brazilian, a regular starter last season, on the bench was merely a tactical decision, Arteta said: “Yeah, we expected a game that actually happened and we needed somebody else in midfield to do what we did best, to have more fluidity and occupy certain spaces in relation to how they’re defending. It worked really well.”