Arsenal could go into the market for a replacement for the injured Jurrien Timber, which has led Fabrizio Romano to start sharing some potential options for them to pursue.
Timber only joined Arsenal from Ajax this summer, but will be out for the long term due to an injury he picked up on the opening day of the Premier League season. It might force Arsenal back into the market as they seek more cover in defence.
According to Romano, one option they have admired for a long time is Mohamed Simakan from RB Leipzig, who was already second on their shortlist to Timber.
Romano told Caught Offside: “As previously reported, Arsenal will explore the market for defenders after the serious and lengthy injury to Jurrien Timber. They will decide how to act soon, despite plenty of speculation emerging already about potential targets.
“RB Leipzig defender Mohamed Simakan has always been on Arsenal’s list, he was plan B earlier this summer in case Timber didn’t end up joining. At the moment, however, Arsenal have not reactivated contacts to sign him, let’s see if that happens or not.”
And taking to Twitter, Romano has also suggested that Arsenal could consider joining the race for Benjamin Pavard from Bayern Munich.
Romano tweeted: “Benjamin Pavard, one to watch as he’s prepared to leave Bayern now.
“Inter have Pavard on top of the list — proposal expected soon to open talks.
“Man United deal stalling due to Maguire situation.
“…could become option for Arsenal to replace Timber — no decision yet.”
Like Timber, Pavard is capable of playing at right-back or centre-half, which could make him a like-for-like option to act as cover during the Dutchman’s absence.
Arteta assesses options to replace Timber
For the time being, Mikel Arteta will be exploring his options from within while deliberating if Arsenal need to make another signing at the back.
The manager said: “We didn’t plan with this injury. We have to assess what the options are, what are the best players that we have because, as I said, my challenge is to get the best from the players that we have. I cannot assess anyone who is not here.
“We are always open and we have to be open as well to react if something happens, not only with an injury but if something happens in the market as well. That’s what we’re doing.”
The other centre-backs at Arteta’s disposal include William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes, Benjamin White, Jakub Kiwior and Rob Holding, while at right-back he can deploy White, Takehiro Tomiyasu or Cedric Soares.
He will have to wait a while to start working with Timber, though.
Arteta said of his injury: “Huge blow. Especially for him after just joining the club. To have the injury he has is a huge blow.
“It is for the team because we recruited him with clear intentions and what he was bringing to the team was evident and he’s not going to be able to do it this season for us. We have to adapt. These things happen unfortunately and we have to move on.
“He’s been very good to be honest. He’s a special character. He knows, he’s starting to realise the extent of the injury and the amount of time he’s going to be out. But he’s in a good place. We are willing to help him obviously and be close to him, but we know it’s going to be a long journey.”
Timber’s ACL injury is expected to put him on the sidelines for approximately seven months, some sources have suggested, which effectively makes his debut season in the Premier League a write-off.