Virgil van Dijk reveals exactly what Man Utd are missing after summer transfer snub


Liverpool ace Virgil van Dijk has championed Jurrien Timber and feels the Ajax defender is better than he was at the same stage of their respective careers.

United chief Erik ten Hag made no secret of his desire to sign the 21-year-old during the summer. The former Ajax manager knows the youngster well from his time in charge of the Amsterdam giants. And it seemed as though he was the Red Devils top defensive target ahead of 2022-2023.

However, Netherlands boss and former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal reportedly sabotaged any possibility of a switch to Old Trafford.

The veteran coach suggested that the centre back might not play regularly at the Theatre of Dreams. And that could put his chances of featuring at this year’s World Cup in jeopardy.

Timber remained with Ajax and has enjoyed an excellent start to the current campaign. He has played every one of De Godenzonen’s Eredivisie games and helped them to second spot in the table.

Indeed, Alfred Schreuder’s side have conceded only five goals from seven league outings and are level on 18 points with table-topping PSV.

Van Dijk knows all about his compatriot, with the duo set to anchor Oranje’s rearguard in Qatar. And it seems the Reds star feels his fellow stopper is further in his development than he was at a similar age.

“I wasn’t nearly as far along as he is now,” he told Algemeen Dagblad. “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 he will be all right, I think.”

Ten Hag a big Timber fan

Timber established himself as a regular in the Ajax defence over the past two seasons. He made 30 appearances in all competitions in 2020-2021 and 43 last term.

Ten Hag wanted to take him to Old Trafford when he stepped into the managerial vacancy. The Utrecht-born ace stayed put but the Dutch tactician still managed to lure former charges Lisandro Martinez and Antony to Manchester.

After a disastrous start, United are now on a roll, with four straight top-flight victories seeing them sit fifth in the standings. And they have conceded only two goals during the winning run.

Harry Maguire has been relegated to the substitutes’ bench, with Martinez and Raphael Varane at the heart of defence. And it remains to be seen if the north-west giants renew their interest in Timber next year.

His value may well increase if the youngster continues to progress as Van Dijk predicts. Other clubs will doubtless enter the picture if Ajax do decide to cash in on their prized asset.

Once the World Cup is done and dusted, Van Gaal will no longer be able to influence Timber’s decision. It will then be open season on a player that Van Dijk clearly feels is destined for the top of the sport.

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