Wesley Sneijder has warned Liverpool against a transfer move for Jurrien Timber and believes he is not good enough in the air to compete in the Premier League.
The 21-year-old has suddenly been linked with a move to Anfield after reports claimed his girlfriend had been house-hunting in Liverpool.
Jurgen Klopp is said to be keen to bring in a versatile defender this summer as he rebuilds his squad, while Timber wants to test himself away from the Eredivisie after rejecting a transfer last summer.
But former Ajax midfielder Sneijder is not convinced the move would be a good idea for Liverpool due to Timber’s stature – he is around 1.79metres (or roughly 5ft9).
‘He’s a smart lad and a really good defender,’ said Sneijder on Dutch TV show Veronica Offside, where the rumour about the potential Liverpool move first emerged.
‘But he loses every header and in England – against those wardrobes in the Premier League – that will be his downfall.’
The same accusation was levied at Lisandro Martinez before he joined Manchester United but he quickly proved his doubters wrong, though Sneijder feels the comparison is not valid in this instance and Timber’s aerial ability is a major weakness.
‘Lisandro Martinez is also small, but he can still jump and rise above players,’ explained Sneijder.
‘I used to see that with [former Real Madrid team-mate] Fabio Cannavaro. He was also small but he won every header.’
Timber has lost more aerial duels than he has won this campaign – 44 lost and 41 won out of 85 – while his aerial win percentage is just 48%.
Ajax team-mates Edson Alvarez and Calvin Bassey both have better aerial records, while Martinez averaged 3.3 aerial wins per game in his last season in Amsterdam (winning 79 and losing just 33 out of 112 – a 70% success rate).
Were Timber to join Liverpool, he would compete against Ibrahima Konate for a place alongside Virgil van Dijk – who has no issues winning headers – in the heart of the defence.