Arsenal

Mikel Arteta handed surprise injury boost ahead of Arsenal’s Champions League clash

Arsenal ended their recent run of miserable results on Saturday with a dominant win and have now been handed another potential fitness boost regarding Jurrien Timber Mikel Arteta may be able to call upon summer signing Jurrien Timber for the last two months of the season in what could be a huge boost for Arsenal.

The Netherlands international was purchased by the Gunners for a fee of £38million from Dutch giants Ajax. Timber enjoyed a hugely promising pre-season, as well as a standout display against Manchester City in the Community Shield, but saw his exciting start cut short after sustaining an anterior cruciate ligament injury 48 minutes into his Premier League debut against Nottingham Forest in August.
Since then, Timber has not been seen in competitive action and has only recently returned to light training. However, Mail Sport claim the 22-year-old could be back to full fitness in time for the business end of the campaign.
Arsenal made light work of their Champions League group in Timber’s absence and as a result, have set themselves up for a round-of-16 showdown with Portuguese giants Porto. There is now hope the versatile defender could be back in time for the second leg.
The first clash will take place at the Estadio do Dragao on February 21, before a second-leg showdown back in north London on March 12. Timber could make his Champions League debut for the Gunners in the second meeting if his road to recovery remains on the right track.

Speaking late last year, Arteta shed light on how well Timber has integrated himself into the club since his arrival in the summer. “Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant,” the Arsenal boss explained. “If you talk to anyone in that building, everybody that gets close to him [will tell you] he’s a really special guy.
We were really impressed when we signed him. Sometimes, when you see the player live in your environment playing and training, we went, ‘Wow, we have an incredible player’.
In what was a positive sight for Arsenal fans everywhere, Timber made the trip to Dubai along with the rest of his Gunners team-mates. Arteta took his side out to the Middle East mid-season in an attempt to recharge batteries ahead of the second half of the term.

Many fans and pundits alike have suggested Arsenal may need to bolster their defence before the end of the January transfer window, but if Timber’s return is potentially as soon as March, Arteta may opt to stick with what he has currently.

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