Gary Neville predicts Arsenal have a ‘real chance’ to win the Premier League title this term, despite Mikel Arteta having the ‘big blow’ of Jurrien Timber suffering an injury.

The Gunners opened the 2023/24 season with a 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest at Emirates Stadium on Saturday. But boss Arteta had to replace Timber just 50 minutes into his Premier League debut. He fell to the ground unchallenged holding his knee early in the second half.

Arsenal confirmed this Monday that Timber sustained a serious knee injury and will undergo further tests to determine its severity. While the Daily Mail reports the north London natives fear their £34m, rising to £38.5m, summer signing from AFC Ajax has suffered an ACL injury.

Arsenal FC v Nottingham Forest - Premier League
Photo by Mark Leech/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Why Pele Is Overrated.

Arsenal lose Jurrien Timber to an injury after a strong start

An ACL injury could rule Timber out for several months and scupper what might have been a promising debut season. The Dutchman showed impressive form during pre-season and had a particularly fruitful time as Arsenal beat Manchester City to secure the Community Shield.

Timber also shone as Arsenal won the Emirates Cup to suggest he could rival Ben White and Oleksandr Zinchenko. Arteta raided Ajax for the 22-year-old to add depth at centre-half, left-back and right-back. The Utrecht native is more than able to play anywhere in their defence.

Gary Neville predicts the 2023/24 Premier League title race

Arsenal FC v Nottingham Forest - Premier League
Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Signing a defender featured prominently on Arteta’s to-do list this summer after seeing how Arsenal fell apart without William Saliba. The Frenchman’s back injury in March stopped him from featuring in their final 11 games. But Arteta is now back to square one without Timber.

Nonetheless, Manchester United hero Neville predicts that Arsenal can still rival Manchester City to win the 2023/24 Premier League title. He feels Arteta’s other transfers for Kai Havertz and Declan Rice give them an edge. While an injury to Erling Haaland may destroy Man City.

Neville told Sky Sports: “Look, I’m banking on three things. But, to be fair, none are certain as City just deliver year-in, year-out. Post-Treble, [you could have] a little bit of a [breath of air but there were] no signs of that against Burnley.

“The difficulties and challenges of a season when you’re playing in Super Cups and World Club Championships that might just bring a little bit more confusion as they haven’t got the biggest squad.

“And I thought just last year with Haaland that he doesn’t do as much running as he used to when he used to pick up his injuries. But last season, he only missed three matches.

An injury to Erling Haaland may destroy Manchester City

Burnley FC v Manchester City - Premier League
Photo by Copa/Getty Images

“If he was to miss 10 or 15 that he did miss at [Borussia] Dortmund on average in the last two seasons before he came [to the Premier League], I think that would be enough to give Arsenal a real chance. Because I think Arsenal have improved with Declan Rice.

“Although they have just lost Jurrien Timber to an ACL and that’s a big blow. So, Havertz, Timber and Rice are very good signings, they do improve them enormously. But, obviously, losing Timber [will hurt them]. It was City I was banking on getting an injury, not Arsenal.”

Neville’s belief in Arteta’s squad is so strong that he still believes they could rival Manchester City to win the 2023/24 Premier League title, despite Arsenal now losing Timber to a serious injury. He had already predicted the Gunners to finish first after finishing second last season.

Related Topics