Arsenal have agreed a deal to sign Matt Turner from New England Revolution in the MLS, so who is he and why are they signing him?
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.
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 109 appearances for Revolution, he has conceded 143 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 16 times since.
He has kept cleansheets in 11 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.
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 is, on his way to Arsenal, one of the biggest clubs on the planet.