What a past 12 months it has been for New England Revolution goalkeeper Matt Turner. Once an undrafted free agent out of Fairfield University, in 2021 Turner:
- Earned his first MLS All-Star Game appearance
- Was named MLS All-Star Game MVP
- Led New England to the Supporters' Shield
- Was named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year
- Made his first USMNT appearance
- Played every minute during the CONCACAF Gold Cup
- Won the CONCACAF Gold Cup
- Received the CONCACAF Gold Cup Golden Glove Award
To top it off, the New Jersey native is now linked with a move to the Premier League, as Arsenal has shown heavy interest in the American keeper.
Taylor Twellman first reported the news, stating that Arsenal "have put in a strong bid" for New England's star shot-stopper.
Breaking news!!@Arsenal have put in a strong bid for @headdturnerr from the @NERevolution today. What a great opportunity for both the player & franchise to further enhance their brand. What a great time to be a #NERevs supporter. #MLS— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) January 20, 2022
MLS freelance writer Tom Bogert added that Arsenal's bid is similar to the deal Manchester City made for American goalkeeper Zach Steffen back in 2019, with the English side paying $7 million upfront with further add-ons approaching $10 million.
Yet the most recent release from The Athletic has stated that "the indications are that no formal offer has yet been made."
Should the transfer go through, Turner would likely become the second-choice keeper at Arsenal — if he doesn't go out on loan. Summer signing Aaron Ramsdale earned the starting role for the Gunners this season, unseating German international Bernd Leno. Leno has not started in the Premier League since August, and his imminent departure opens the door for Turner.
The American is an elite shot-stopper, preventing 19.8 more goals than expected over his last three seasons — by far the best mark in the league. Turner also led Major League Soccer with 26 crosses stopped within the penalty area (per FBref), doubling his crosses claimed rate from a year ago.
The one weakness in his game, according to goalkeeping expert Matt Pyzdrowski at The Athletic, is his ability to play with the ball at his feet, an area that Aaron Ramsdale excels at.
Left hand.What a save from Matt Turner #GoldCupFinal
— The Athletic (@TheAthletic) August 2, 2021
This would be an interesting move for Turner, who is now mirroring the career of Steffen — the man with who he is competing with to earn the USMNT starting spot.
It was regular football that helped Turner become arguably the best keeper in MLS and it's hard to believe that he would consistently play at Arsenal. Even a loan spell is no guarantee of the starting role Turner needs at this point in his career.
The pull of the Premier League is strong, but not even the best coaches in the world can replicate the dividends of regular first-team football.