Who is Matt Turner? Arsenal’s new American under the spotlight

Who is Matt Turner?  Arsenal’s new American under the spotlight post thumbnail image

CHESTER, PENNSYLVANIA – MAY 12: Jon Bell #23 of the New England Revolution watches as teammate Matt Turner #30 blocks a shot during the first half against the Philadelphia Union during the first half at Subaru Park on May 12, 2021 in Chester, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)

Matt Turner is a 27-year-old goalkeeper who currently plays for New England Revolution in the MLS who has saved nine of the 20 penalties he has faced in his career, including two from former Manchester United winger, Nani.

That’s his standout stat, although I’m sure Arsenal and their stats people have a few others they like.

The American will arrive in the summer in a deal said to be worth around £5m, about twice his current market value.

Turner will go into the squad as Arsenal’s number two, behind Aaron Ramsdale, and in place of Bernd Leno, who will be allowed to leave for as little as £5m, mere pennies for the keeper we all hailed, particularly during the Unai Emery era , before Ramsdale arrived.

Matt Turner comes from Park Ridge in New Jersey, a small borough of just under 9,000 people who tend to vote Democrat.

Before signing for New England Revolution, Turner spent time with Fairfield Stags and Jersey Express. He signed for NER in 2016 but then spent some time on loan with Richmond Kicker.

In short, it’s far from the pedigree we’ve come to expect of players who sign for Arsenal.

That’s not to write him off, of course and anyone doing that clearly didn’t learn from Aaron Ramsdale’s arrival during the summer.

Then again, the same people also signed Alex Runar Runarsson, so I guess it could go either way. I’m certainly no expert on the MLS or Matt Turner.

With 111 appearances for Revolution, he has conceded 146 and kept 24 cleansheets. He has also picked up five yellow cards and a red.

Turner is also a goalkeeper for the USA Men’s National Team, making his debut almost a year ago, and playing 17 times since.

He has kept cleansheets in 12 of those games, including against Mexico over 210 minutes, Canada twice, and Bosnia in an international friendly.

He battles Zack Steffen for the number one shirt, although Steffen tends to be preferred when fit. Turner’s Gold Cup performances in the summer, however, saw a debate open up.

COLUMBUS, OHIO - JULY 03: Matt Turner #30 of New England Revolution in goal during their game against the Columbus Crew at Lower.com Field on July 03, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio.  (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OHIO – JULY 03: Matt Turner #30 of New England Revolution in goal during their game against the Columbus Crew at Lower.com Field on July 03, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Emilee Chinn/Getty Images)

Because of this move, concern has naturally been raised about Turner’s fight for the number one jersey for his country. Once he moves from the MLS, he will go from playing regularly to mostly sitting on Arsenal’s bench apart from cup games.

But that doesn’t seem to have stopped Steffen, who signed for Manchester City in 2020 and has played just 540 minutes this season.

Speaking after a recent game against El Salvador, which they won 1-0, the USAMNT coach, Gregg Berhalter, confirmed Turner’s move to Arsenal.

“It’s an amazing story,” Berhalter said.

“His work ethic, his belief in himself and his never-give-up attitude, it’s a great story and Matt is a great guy, a great team-mate. We’re lucky to have him.

“Tonight was an example where he did everything he had to do. He was calm in all situations, wasn’t tested much, but he was there when we needed him and he looked like a guy that’s going to Arsenal for sure.”

Turner’s story is an amazing one, as you can tell from the teams listed above that he played for.

Just six years ago he wasn’t even considered good enough for the MLS draft and now here is, on his way to Arsenal, one of the biggest clubs on the planet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Post