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“Matt Turner is not a backup goalkeeper,” says New England Revolution manager

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By Martin Graham | 7th Dec 2022

The manager of the MLS franchise, New England Revolution, Bruce Arena, has urged his former charge Matt Turner to leave Arsenal in January.

Turner, 28, spent most of his career in the USA before joining Arsenal at the beginning of the season. However, he has played second fiddle to Aaron Ramsdale at the club, only being used in cup games and in the Europa League.

Turner, however, has locked down the starting spot with the USMNT and put in a good showing in their outing at the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Against the Netherlands in the round of 16, he made four saves even though the USA lost the game by three goals to one.

His performance in the tournament has spurred his former manager Arena to charge him with finding a new club that will guarantee him more games. Arena believes he is too good to play backup to any goalkeeper.

“Matt Turner can’t be at fault for the three goals against Netherlands and made several great saves in the second half to keep the US alive in the game,” the former USA manager told MLS Soccer.

“Like the team, this was the first time he was truly tested at the World Cup. Now, Matt’s going to fall in line with the likes of [USA legends] Brad Friedel and Kasey Keller one day.

“He has to move out of Arsenal to start playing on a regular basis, but he’s proven himself to be a very good goalkeeper for the US.”

Former USA goalkeeper Brad Friedel, who also spent time in the Premier League with Liverpool, Blackburn Rovers, Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur, had also previously shared concerns about Turner’s game time at Arsenal.

“Time will tell if it’s the right decision [Turner joining Arsenal],” Friedel, an 82-cap veteran of the USMNT, told media last month. “When you’re in the MLS, this is what I’ll say – it’s hard to turn down a club like Arsenal coming in for you.

“But when you move and you’re as good as Matt Turner, I’d like to think that you would move and you’re being told that you were gonna be the number one which obviously wasn’t the case at Arsenal.

“Matt’s a heck of a nice guy and a heck of a good goalkeeper. I personally think he’s too good of a goalkeeper to be sitting on the bench.

“I don’t know what kind of deal they have with Arsenal or what, but I hope if he’s not in the team, or doesn’t look like he’s gonna get near the team, then they would allow him to leave or go on loan.”

Martin Graham is an MFF sports writer

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