Manchester United's target demonstrates why Ten Hag should maintain his interest

Manchester United's 21-year-old target has been in good form since the end of the summer transfer window, giving Erik ten Hag a reason to maintain his interest

Image of Ajax defender and Netherlands defender Jurriën Timber

Ajax's 21-year-old defender, Jurriën Timber, has been in stunning form this season, refusing to be carried away after turning down a move to Premier League club Manchester United during the summer transfer window.

The young, gifted center-back who has started every game for the Eredivisie champions this season has already played 868 minutes owing to his superb performances.

Known for his excellent footwork, including passes and dribbles, he has been compared to the likes of Paris Saint-Germain defender Presnel Kimpembe and Arsenal's Ben White, demonstrating why his former manager Erik ten Hag rates him highly.

Following his recent performances, Jurriën Timber had also been called up to the Netherlands national team, where he has gradually earned a spot in Louis van Gaal's starting eleven, usurping Bayern Munich's defender Matthijs de Ligt for the position.

He stood out in the Netherlands' last two Nations League qualification matches against Poland and Belgium, helping the Oranges secure their spot in the Nations League finals.

The young talent has subsequently been praised by Netherlands captain Virgil van Dijk, who predicts he will become one of the best European defenders.

"I was never that good at the age of Timber," said van Dijk after Netherlands' 2-0 victory over Poland. "He is just 21. I can only praise him. His potential is so high, I am sure."

Despite signing Lisandro Martinez, arguably Manchester United's best signing this season, Erik ten Hag is likely to return to Timber as part of his Old Trafford rebuilding project.

His recent performances have demonstrated why he could fit into any team, but he would cost a fortune after extending his contract with Ajax until 2025.