Manchester United have very little time to wallow in self-pity considering they have two huge matches coming up that could very well define their season.
Despite the Liverpool humbling, it is important to remember the miraculous job done by Erik ten Hag which includes ending a six-year trophy drought by winning the Carabao Cup.
Up next is the first leg of United’s Europa League Round of 16 tie against Real Betis and next week, the Red Devils will face Fulham in the FA Cup quarterfinal.
For now, the manager will be trying to lift spirits in the dressing room to avoid further disappointment but Sunday’s result was a reminder of how much work is still left to be done.
New defender required
The favourable run of results had helped mask the obvious discrepancies in the squad and once again they have come out into the open.
The 20-time English league champions need a striker, a midfielder and an extra body in defence. The form of Diogo Dalot in the first-half of the season meant Ten Hag pressed no further in his search for a full-back.
Jurrien Timber on his future: “Transfer? You never know what crosses your path. This summer I will look at my options and make a decision”. 🇳🇱 #Ajax
“I feel good at Ajax, that's important for now. Last summer there was interest, but I chose to stay at Ajax”, says via @ajaxlife. pic.twitter.com/X83mb3l1pj
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) March 7, 2023
Aaron Wan-Bissaka‘s resurgence also helped matters but since the World Cup, Dalot’s form has taken a nosedive and with Wan-Bissaka open to leaving, the club do need to sign a full-back.
Interestingly, club captain Harry Maguire is also said to be on the market and United will need to bring in an extra body there as well.
This is where Ajax’s Jurrien Timber comes into the picture. The 21-year-old was very close to sealing a move to Old Trafford last summer.
In the end, the move never materialised and Lisandro Martinez was drafted in instead and very few fans will be complaining about that move.
Versatile Timber could be perfect option
But a year on from signing a new contract and with Ajax’s season in disarray, the Netherlands international has admitted that he was close to leaving last season and next season could be the time when he finally departs.
“Transfer? You never know what crosses your path. This summer I will look at my options and make a decision”.
“I feel good at Ajax, that’s important for now. Last summer there was interest, but I chose to stay at Ajax,” the versatile defender was quoted as saying by Ajax Life.
Timber, who mainly plays as a centre-back, can also double up as a right-back and that flexibility could prove invaluable for Ten Hag going forward.
Whether Ajax will be open to allowing yet another asset to join Ten Hag’s revolution at Ajax remains to be seen.