Matt Turner's rise over the last few years has evidently caught the eye of the scouting department at Arsenal.
The New England Revolution and U.S. men's national team goalkeeper is reportedly the subject of a transfer bid that could see him cross the Atlantic and head to the Emirates in the January transfer window, according to ESPN. Arsenal's bid is said to be in the same range as the $7.5 million Manchester City paid in 2019 for Zack Steffen, Turner's top competition for the starting U.S. job.
Turner was undrafted out of Fairfield University and was first given a chance in New England under former U.S. goalkeeper Brad Friedel in 2018 before cementing his rise with an MLS Goalkeeper of the Year award under Bruce Arena in 2021. He started the U.S.'s first five World Cup qualifiers before playing second fiddle to Steffen. Prior to that, he backstopped the U.S. to the Concacaf Gold Cup title, winning Golden Glove honors as the best goalkeeper in the competition.
The strongest argument Turner had going for him was that he was playing regularly in MLS while Steffen is largely a backup in the Premier League. With Aaron Ramsdale as Arsenal's established No. 1, Turner could suddenly find himself in a similar situation to Steffen as both vie for a place in the U.S. lineup (German international Bernd Leno is also on the books at Arsenal but has been linked with a move away). That aspect of a move abroad, to Arsenal or anywhere else, isn't lost on Turner. Following the U.S.'s 1–0 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina last month, in which Turner earned his ninth clean sheet of 2021, a USMNT single-year record, he was asked about any ambition he might have to test himself overseas in the coming year.
"I always want to be able to challenge myself at the highest level I possibly can," Turner said. "Right now, it's not so easy, given COVID and the way the markets have been trending the last few seasons. It's been tough for goalkeepers to get moves. So I understand, I'm 27 and it's something that I really want to do and really want to accomplish. At the same time, going into a World Cup year, you have to play smart. Going overseas and getting into a situation where maybe I'm not playing, or maybe I don't adapt well to being in a foreign country before a World Cup might be challenging. There's a lot of things I can take from [the U.S.] and apply with the Revolution for the rest of 2022, and then going into a World Cup, after a World Cup, we can revisit. But next 12 months, next four months, next whatever, if it make sense I would love to."
Should the Revolution accept the bid and the transfer be completed, he'll be accelerating that timeline considerably. And the U.S. could find itself in a position where its top two goalkeepers are not guaranteed starter's minutes for their clubs in the final months of World Cup qualifying.
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