Matt Turner: US International might be on his way to the Emirates?

Vineet Kumar
By Vineet Kumar
8 Min Read
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Arsenal’s young Gunners were firing on all cylinders over the Christmas period but seemed to have run out of ammunition. Having scored just 1 goal in their previous 4 outings in all competitions, getting knocked out of the League Cup by Liverpool has added to Arteta’s misery. The mood around the Emirates, although not one of despair, is undoubtedly a bit gloomy. With another trophy-less season confirmed, the Arsenal faithful are publicly airing their anguish over the club’s lack of activity in the January window. The Gunners hierarchy are locked in negotiations for a forward, midfielder, & most recently, a backup goalkeeper.

Arsenal’s transfer activity:

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The whole Aubameyang saga has forced Arteta’s hand in freezing him out of the squad & left the squad ‘light’ at the Top. With Lacazette out of form & Eddie Nketiah seemingly not upto the mark in the Premier League, Arsenal have identified the Fiorentina talisman Dusan Vlahovic as their principle target. The Gunners are locked in negotiations with the Fiorentina hierarchy but the player prefers a move in the summer. Vlahovic is seemingly unwilling to come to the Emirates mid-season & the gunners trying their all to make that happen.

The Gunners are also in the market for a midfielder with the current Juventus midfielder  Arthur Melo the club’s priority transfer. Arthur is struggling to break into the Juventus first team with Max Allegri looking to offload the Brazilian. Arsenal reached out to Juventus with a loan deal till the remainder of the season, but the Old Lady of Turin is refusing to budge. Juventus are looking for a 18-month loan deal with an option to buy but Arteta does not view the Brazilian as a player who will be needed in the long run. With the Gunners unable to get these deals done, Arteta has identified a certain USA International as the perfect backup solution to Aaron Ramsdale.

Who is Matt Turner?

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Born in Park Ridge, New Jersey,  Matt Turner started his professional playing career while attending Fairfield University in the States. It’s not often that you see a professional football player starting his playing career at a University, but that’s how they do it in America!! Matt Turner spent 3 years at University before going undrafted in the 2016 MLS Super draft. He signed his first professional contract with the New England Revolution & has stayed at the club ever since. Matt Turner, the 27 year old goalkeeper has also cemented his position in the USA International squad & has started 13 out of the last 20 international fixtures for the team. While playing in the MLS, he has managed to secure the No. 1 position & has relegated Manchester City’s backup goalkeeper Jack Stephens to the bench.

Arsenal’s goalkeeping situation:

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Arsenal have unearthed a gem who goes by the name of Aaron Ramsdale. When Arteta secured the signature of Ramsdale in a 30 million pounds deal from Sheffield United, he had to ride the storm of uncertainty that surrounded the move. It was clear at the beginning of the season that Leno was Arsenal’s first choice goalkeeper, which is why it did not seem sensible to splash the cash on a backup goalkeeper. But Ramsdale, defying the odds, has cemented his position as the club’s No. 1 goalkeeper & is in the running for a England call up.

Ramsdale’s vocal presence, his ability to command the defense & control the 18 yard box with relative ease is something that the Arsenal fans have fallen in love with. Aaron’s presence has relegated a talented German goalie to the bench, a place where Leno doesn’t want to stay for long. The former No. 1 is looking for a way out of his Arsenal misery which has prompted a response from the Gunners hierarchy. The USA International Matt Turner is viewed as the perfect backup solution to Ramsdale as the England International obviously cannot play all the games.

What has Arteta seen in Turner?

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Mikel Arteta has made it clear that his squad needs to build leaders, both on the pitch & off it as well. The likes of Granit Xhaka, Ben White, Gabriel, Lacazette & Ramsdale are uniting figures on the pitch who never fail to stand up for their teammates & get into the opponents faces. The Gunners have one of the youngest squads in the League who need leaders around them to look up to, something which Turner offers to the team. At the age of 27, Matt is an experienced figure who has the experience of playing at a high level for a prolonged period of time. His ability to command his technical area & organize the defense in front of him is something that the Gunners can hugely benefit from.

Matt Turner, along with his leadership qualities, is also a great goalkeeper. His shot-stopping ability is unparalleled, along with his ability to join the build-up play are his major traits as a goalie. The US International never fails to run out of his 6 yard box & punch the ball away, especially in tight situations. Someone who never hesitates to go for a 50/50 challenge, he is a player who will massively help the Gunners, especially as a partner for Ramsdale. Arteta needs to avoid the temptation of overplaying his talisman & Turner’s signature promises to help Arteta in relieving the pressure of his star-goalie. The club have reportedly agreed personal terms with the player & are looking to wrap up his signature as soon as possible.

Denouement:

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Arteta’s primary concern at this point is to regain his side’s festive form & arrest this minor slump in their fortunes. Arsenal are still well placed to mount a Top 4 challenge in the final 4 months of the season. With only the Premier League to focus on, the Gunners will be looking to bring Champions League Nights back to the Emirates. The Vlahovic deal has gotten a bit cold but negotiations for Arthur & Turner are progressing in the right direction. Matt Turner is the perfect backup solution for Arsenal’s goalkeeping position. With the Gunners progressing in negotiations for the player, it will be interesting to follow the rest of their season as Arteta rallies his troops to secure Champions League football.

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