Top Stories

Matt Turner on Arsenal departure: “Time was of the essence”


Matt Turner has jumped right into the starting role at English Premier League club Nottingham Forest and although his time with Arsenal lasted just one season, Turner admitted why he had to look elsewhere for consistent playing time.

Turner made the move to the City Ground this summer, ending a short stay at the Emirates Stadium. The former MLS Goalkeeper of the Year was stuck behind Arsenal No. 1 goalkeeper and England international Aaron Ramsdale in London, being reduced to just seven combined appearances in all competitions.

With Turner becoming the U.S. men’s national team’s No. 1, the importance of featuring regularly become a necessity to stay fresh and to continue developing. Now in Steve Cooper’s squad at Nottingham Forest, Turner has made five appearances while recently registering a first EPL clean sheet in a 1-0 triumph over Chelsea.

A move away from Arsenal might not have been what Turner wanted early in his time in England, but believes he made the right decision for his career.

“Towards the end of the season, I felt like there were games that I could have been playing that I wasn’t even getting really a sniff of them,” Turner said Monday in a conference call with reporters. “I was training really well. I felt like I was doing everything in my power to get myself minutes on the team, and that just wasn’t happening for me.

“I knew that if I waited another year, it would probably have been more challenging for me to make a lateral move within the Premier League,” he added. “So I knew that time was of the essence at that point. If I went another season without playing, I would have probably had to take a step back and once you’re out of it, it’s hard to get back into it, especially when you’re not English.”

Turner’s final appearance with Arsenal came during the FA Community Shield in August where Arsenal defeated reigning EPL and UEFA Champions League winners Manchester City in penalty kicks. The 28-year-old did not feature in the match, but watched Ramsdale make two key saves to help preserve the trophy lift for the Gunners.

Ramsdale is now joined by Brentford’s David Raya in Mikel Arteta’s squad as both keepers are fighting to earn the No. 1 job. Turner might not be Ramsdale’s teammate anymore, but credited the 25-year-old for pushing him to give his best at Arsenal over the past 14 months.

“Credit to Aaron really because he brought it every single day,” Turner said. “And when doors were cracked open, he always slammed it back shut. I think he’s a really talented goalkeeper and I think we always pushed each other to get better.”

Turner and the USMNT faces Uzbekistan and Oman in a pair of home international friendlies this month.


  1. it’s generous of him to build up ramsdale but last year turner had the lower GAA behind the same team (though admittedly as the second string cup keeper) and sorry IMO we get a skeptical reception as keepers at elite english clubs then go someplace else smaller fry and start and get “best keeper” accolades you shouldn’t be able to win without being the starter at every team in the league.


Leave a Comment