‘Rolled their eyes’ – USMNT goalkeeper Matt Turner explains why he chose Arsenal transfer in another boost for soccer in America
- Shot-stopper left MLS in 2022
- Waiting on Premier League debut
- Feels he will improve in England
WHAT HAPPENED? The United States international goalkeeper agreed a switch to Emirates Stadium in February 2022, before making his way to England a few months later. He bid farewell to MLS outfit the New England Revolution when heading to the Premier League, with the 28-year-old of the opinion that he needed to step out of his comfort zone in order to become a better player.
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WHAT THEY SAID: Turner, speaking to The Guardian, has said of linking up with Arsenal: “I was able to identify areas that I needed to improve on, that maybe I would be able to get away with in other leagues. But in this league, you’re going to get the best players in the world day in and day out.”
Turner is now one of several USMNT stars in the Premier League, with the collective standard being raised within an ambitious international squad. The confident shot-stopper added on improvements within the American set-up: “Obviously in a perfect world, we’re all playing at top clubs around Europe, and we’re all playing in the Champions League. But that’s not really a realistic sort of thing right now. But I think if you said 10 years ago that we’ll have this many players in the Premier League. People would have rolled their eyes. It’s a process.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: Turner now forms part of a title-chasing squad in north London and while he is yet to make his Premier League debut, he is enjoying working under Mikel Arteta. He said of a Spanish coach whose methods can raise eyebrows at times: “That’s who he is. He likes to make your mind work in different ways, to switch it on and try to get your blood pumping in different ways, to just open your mind.
"And I think one of my favourite qualities about him is that he always has my back. No matter what I do on the pitch, you know, he’s gonna have my back because he knows I work really, really hard. I try my best every single day. And it’s easy to play for a guy like that, no matter how demanding he is. You know, you put yourself out there and you try to make his ideas come to life. And he’ll always back you up.”
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WHAT NEXT? Arsenal, who sit eight points clear at the top of the Premier League table, will be back in action on Sunday when taking in a trip to Liverpool.