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Manchester United transfer snub made even worse by Virgil van Dijk claim

Published on: 25 September 2022

Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk has claimed former Manchester United transfer target Jurrien Timber is a better player than he was as a 21-year-old.

United, who will resume their Premier League campaign with a trip to cross-city rivals Manchester City next weekend, installed Timber as their leading defensive target before the summer transfer window had even opened for business. Manager Erik ten Hag had overseen his development at Ajax and was keen to be reunited with the versatile defender at Old Trafford.

Timber, who can operate at both right-back and centre-back, scooped Ajax's Talent of the Year award last season. United were keen to try and get a deal over the line but it soon became clear that Ajax were not prepared to offload one of their brightest prospects.

Former United manager Louis van Gaal had earlier advised Timber to avoid moving to Old Trafford over fears that he would not get enough game time to stake a claim for a place in the Netherlands squad for the upcoming World Cup. United, of course, later turned their attention to his Ajax teammate Lisandro Martinez instead.

Timber, though, continues to be occasionally linked with a move to Old Trafford, such is his potential. And for Liverpool and Netherlands ace Van Dijk, who has experienced playing alongside the 21-year-old at international level, Timber is performing better than he did when he was the same age, pointing to how promising a player he is.

"I wasn't nearly as far along as he is now [at the same age]," Van Dijk admitted. "I have nothing but praise for him. He is a great player and a true professional.

"He has so much potential. Hopefully he can develop further. Then it will be all right, I think."


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