Yanks-Abroad Hot-Take: Turner to Arsenal? The Wrong Move Right Now

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Former USMNT and New England Revolution striker Taylor Twellman has tweeted out that Rev’s keeper Matt Turner could be on his way to Europe, with Arsenal FC making inquiries about the 2021 Gold Cup winning goalkeeper.

A move to the revitalized London club would look attractive on paper (as well as in the player’s and the Revs’ bank accounts). Arsenal are in the process of rebuilding as coach Mikel Arteta is shaking the trees for young, talented players in a push to return to the prestigious Champions League, a tournament that has eluded them the past few season. 

At 27 years old, the New Jersey native fits into that category and so you would be forgiven for thinking that Turner should pack his bags immediately and book a flight to London. 

Not so fast.

In an interview with Kasey Keller during his Borussia Mönchengladbach days, one thing that has stuck in my head all these years later was when he said that the problem with being a goalkeeper is that only one can play.  It sounds simple and obvious but when you think about it, players are subbed in and out three to five times during a game. 

Not the keeper though.  The only time you’ll see this happen is if the man between the posts picks up an injury.  Fortunately that doesn’t happen often.

The problem with Turner going to England is that he may never get onto the field this season if he signs on during in the closing days of January.  Yes, he’s a good keeper but the Gunners already have a very good keeper doing a brilliant job, named Aaron Ramsdale. 

The Englishman, who is only 23 years old and joined the North Londoners in the summer for roughly $33 million has thus far been worth every penny spent. 

After unseating German keeper Bernd Leno for the top job, he has gone on to keep 11 clean sheets in all competitions, as well as being named Arsenal’s player of the month for October and November. On top of that, he also received his first cap for England when he played against San Marino last November.    

So what would be the benefit of Turner heading off to Arsenal?  For the American I would say none. It would certainly be a good deal for Arteta’s side, with Leno looking to leave and the other two keepers on the books just 19 and 20 years old and thus far untested. 

Turner would ultimately become another American shot stopper in the Premier League who gets to sit on the bench and play in cup competitions. Unseating a top-performing English keeper in England is no small task.

With the World Cup starting up at the end of the year, Turner is still fighting it out with Zack Steffen to see who will be Gregg Berhalter’s #1 going into the upcoming qualifiers and then on to Qatar. If he makes this move, he will likely be surrendering the lone advantage he has – a starting job – in his quest to unseat the Manchester City back-up. 

If this offer comes up next year after another successful MLS season, then by all means go for it.  For now, the best thing is to continue with New England and get in those games before getting on that plane to the Middle East. 


Michael Adubato

The old man of Yanks-Abroad, having been around since the very beginning in 2004, Known as the resident Belgian expert since that’s where he has lived for a couple of decades. Over the years he has interviewed Nats such as Kasey Keller, Brian McBride, Oguchi Onyewu, Jozy Altidore and Tim Weah, to name a few. When not working the day job, he can often be found in stadiums around Europe, watching games from the top flight to the lower leagues. To prove that he is not just a pretty face, Mike received a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Maryland and a Masters from the University of Oklahoma. Boomer Sooner! On a non-soccer note, Adubato has just released a book of poetry from his travels, Missing the Exit, published by Broken Keys Publishing in Ottawa, Canada. So that must make him the YA poet laureate! You can grab your copy on Amazon.com, order online and pick it up and Barnes & Noble or get an e-copy at various outlets.

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