If you’re Jurrien Timber, a young dutch player who moved from Ajax to Arsenal, you probably think football is beautiful.
However, football can be as cruel as it is beautiful, as Jurrien Timber discovered on Saturday. The 22-year-old defender sustained a nasty knee injury in his Premier League debut against Nottingham forest.
The injury, or at least how it unfolded, was quite peculiar. Jurrien Timber went down towards the end of the first half, but returned to the pitch after receiving treatment.
Timber returned for the second half, but didn’t last long before going down again. It was one of those ominous injuries where a player goes down on his own, without contact. The way other players react often tells you a lot about an injury, and there was palpable concern for Timber.
News began to break on Monday that Timber had damaged his ACL. Although an Arsenal statement stopped shy of confirming the exact nature of the injury to his knee.
“Further to his substitution during our match against Nottingham Forest on Saturday, Jurrien Timber has received extensive assessments and scans which have confirmed he has sustained an injury to his right knee.
“Jurrien will undergo a further detailed assessment and review with a consultant in the coming days to assess the full extent of the injury, in order to determine the next steps. A further update will be provided in due course.
“Everyone at the club will be focused on supporting Jurrien at this time.”
In spite of Arsenal’s higher-profile acquisitions of Kai Havertz and Declan Rice, Timber was the star of preseason. Little was known about him, but he looked set to establish himself in the first team. An ACL tear means he likely won’t be playing again until next season.
To sustain that injury in your first competitive game is crushingly unfortunate, and it means Mikel Arteta may have to go back to the drawing board.