📸 Gallery: Matt Turner joins Arsenal | Gallery | News

Our new goalkeeper, Matt Turner, couldn’t hide his delight at finally putting pen to paper and confirming his transfer to Arsenal.

The goalkeeper, who turned 28 on Friday, joined on a long-term contract from MLS’s New England Revolution.

After signing his contract, and being taken on a tour of London Colney by manager Edu, Matt sat down with our very own Frimmy to discuss the change.

This is what he said…

F: Matt! You’re finally here, it seems like it’s been a while to be honest, are you happy to be at Arsenal?

MT: Yeah, it’s been a while but it feels good to finally be here, obviously a lot of preparation, a lot of interviews, this and that, but being here and ready to work feels really great.

F: You know, sometimes it’s weird, you don’t hear rumors with players coming or going, and then when they get here, you have to fight to meet them. But we knew you were coming for a while, what it was like to continue playing in the United States, but we still knew you were coming to Arsenal…

MT: Yes, it was a bit tricky at times, but the good thing was that I was able to follow the end of last season and see all the games Arsenal played, and I really felt like I was part of that, which was interesting. , but I had a minor injury that kept me out for a while, so really my focus the last couple of months was just to get back in shape and then play some games to get some rhythm, and that gets me very well into the start of preseason here. .

F: What was the injury? Was it long?

MT: No, I was away for a couple of months, a little one, a little one that just took a little bit of time.

F: Obviously we knew you’d be coming for a while, were there a lot of Arsenal fans calling the DMs to see when we’d see you in a jersey?

MT: I will say that Arsenal fans are quite active on social media, I could see it in the Instagram comments and stuff that it was really nice to feel welcome, to know that there is support for the move, that people are excited to see. come on, that feels really good because I’m really, really excited to be here.

F: Yeah, the Arsenal fans said I needed to come here and you know, see the atmosphere, of course you’re a huge Arsenal fan, how and when did you become an Arsenal fan?

MT: So I grew up in North Jersey, I didn’t play football until I was 14, so as soon as the World Cup came around in 2010 I really started to get interested in football. USA had a great run in that tournament some magical moments I’ll call it and from there I bought my first FIFA game my sisters played for a youth team called The Arsenal growing up so it was kind of there I had a natural connection and from there I began to follow the team and the rest of my family quite closely.

F: Was there any game or player that caught your attention when you were little watching The Arsenal?

MT: Obviously there were some fun years with Olivier Giroud scoring goals, it was always fun to watch, my sister had a huge crush on him so it was quite fun, he’s a handsome guy.

F: I have to give him that!

MT: All really, from the beginning in 2013/2014, 2011/2012, those teams, Per Mertesacker, Wojciech Szczesny when he was here, just a fun team to watch, exciting, Alexis Sanchez, a lot of firepower. and a lot of talent, so they’re a good team to support and when I went to university I went with a bunch of guys who were from England, so they’d come, and they’re all fans of different clubs, and so on Saturdays and Sundays for mornings in the US were always a good time to watch the Prem together.

F: Have you already had a talk with Mikel?

MT: Of course, yes, we have been in contact for the last few months, he consulted me several times and we started to develop that relationship.

F: So you said you talked to Mikel – Iñaki, have you talked to him too?

MT: Him too, yeah, pretty close contact, especially once I got back to gaming, watching some stuff, some videos and just talking about games, watching training videos and that sort of thing, so the back and forth was very , very nice, so again that’s another way of feeling part of the club, although I wasn’t here in North London.

F: Of course, as I said, you are a huge Arsenal fan. Did you have to get up early to watch any of our games? Is there a game that catches your attention that you remember?

MT: I can’t remember who they were playing with, but there have been a few times throughout my years as I’ve gotten a little bit older where my sister lived in Manhattan and we’d go down to the local fan bars and watch the games, so you would be on that pretty early in the US, but it was always a good time for our whole family to really just watch the games and root for the team.

F: I’m not going to lie, I was in the United States, I think a few months ago, and I was there when we played Chelsea, it was good because it was like in the afternoon, but Manchester United, it was four in the morning, I had just coming back from a festival, I tried to stay awake, fell asleep, woke up and was like ‘we won…this is great!’ So you didn’t have to get up much?

MT: Yeah, I’d get up early, but on the East Coast, the earliest game is 7:30am, so it’s not too early! Being a soon to be dad, I know that 7:30 am is not too early.

F: Of course you’re going to be a dad soon, are you excited about that?

MT: Extremely excited and blessed, it’s going to be a great journey and right now it’s just the starting point for a lot of big changes in my life that I’m excited about.

F: It’s a huge change and you move from the United States. I heard you brought the dogs too?

MT: I brought the dogs, yes! That was probably the most stressful moment of all, but the dogs made it, they’re safe, and they’re enjoying their new trick.

F: What are the dogs called?

MT: Bear, Bear is a little Pomeranian and Kounoupiaki is a Morkie. I guess it’s Greek for “little gnat”, I credit my wife for that.

F: I love that! Of course, you also have some European connections, what connection is that? I think you are from Lithuania?

MT: Yes, I am Lithuanian by descent from my great-grandparents and was able to re-establish my citizenship there as well, so I have a dual US-Lithuanian passport.

F: Drug. So of course we are in Europe, so we are going to travel around Europe, do you think you are going to pay a little visit to Lithuania?

MT: I have to, for sure. I’m really excited to do that too. The whole process of reinstating citizenship, in the United States, when everyone has a story about their background and their history and for me and my dad, we were able to go on this journey, we didn’t know much about their side. of the family, and when we ended up finding some old documents and then we started that journey of learning a little bit more about our heritage, and that was just a great bonding exercise and you know a little bit more about who you are. So I definitely really want to go to Lithuania, because right after I got my citizenship, the world turned off!

F: That is anguish. When I was a kid, there weren’t a lot of American players playing in the league, but there was one position where you dominated… goalies. Of course we had players like Brad Friedel and Tim Howard, did you see them grow up?

MT: Of course I did, Brad Friedel coached me at the New England Revolution, he’s the one who made me debut in MLS actually.

F: That’s great!

MT: So I’m pretty close to him. I love Tim Howard, he was probably my goalie idol when I started to grow up a little bit and appreciate him more and more, also from New Jersey, like me, and always had the ability to perform well on the big stages. It’s definitely a culture thing with goalies, I think it has something to do with the background of all the different sports in America.

F: I love that. Of course you’ve just arrived, we’ll be heading back to America soon for our tour, are you excited to see Baltimore and Florida?

MT: Yeah, I’m really excited to go back to the States, show the guys around, tell them what I know about those areas, and it’ll be a good way to integrate into the group, right? guys a little better and just to have that immediate connection. That and the fact that we drew England in the World Cup!

F: You just arrived, but we’ll be back on tour soon. Are you excited to see Baltimore and Florida?

MT: Yeah, I’m really excited to get back to the States, show the guys around, tell them what I know about those areas. It will be a good way to integrate me into the group, right? To get to know the guys a little better, and just to get that instant connection. That and the fact that we drew England in the World Cup.

F: Listen, I’m going on tour too, so you have to show me around too.

MT: I’ll show you around, anytime. You tell me what you need and I solve it for you.

F: What do I need? Let me answer you about that.

MT: Don’t think too much!

F: Do you know any American players who play in the UK?

MT: Yeah, I’m good friends with Christian Pulisic, so obviously he’s at Chelsea. And I am also attached to Brenden Aaronson, who has just signed with Leeds. That’s a bit further, I know, so Antonee Robinson at Fulham and Christian Pulisic at Chelsea, I hope I can spend some time with them and create those relationships off the pitch as well. I have a cousin who lives in London and obviously some of my Uni friends from the past still live in and around London. Which is good.

F: Do you visit London a lot then?

MT: So I only visited once when I was 18 or 19 years old. I was in Manchester most of the time. Manchester and then we went to the lakes also for a New Year’s Eve party, then we went back to London for a day or two. It was nice. I definitely have a lot more of the city to explore and see and see through my eyes now compared to when I was 18 it will be quite different I’m sure.

F: What would you prefer to be called, Matt or Matty?

MT: First name Matty or Matt is fine, Turner is fine too. Whatever engages fans the most or makes them feel the most connected is what I’ll follow.

F: We have just been told what your number will be for this season, number 30, is there any reason why you chose that number?

MT: Pretty simple. It was my number in New England, it’s a number I’ve developed a close connection with. Obviously I wanted to be number one or number 12 when I first came to New England, they pulled me aside and said ‘no, here’s number 30.’ Instead of making a big fuss about it, I just made it mine. It’s a number I feel connected to, plus I bought a 30 number necklace so now I don’t have to buy a new one!

F: I love that! We have a great character on our team, currently our number one, Aaron Ramsdale. Do you know something about him?

MT: Yes, he and I have been in contact. He checked me out, he made sure that he was adjusting me well. He seems like a great guy, I’m looking forward to not only meeting him, but also making him a better goalkeeper and pushing him to do his best.

F: I assume you saw his game against Leicester? I hope to see some of… actually I hope the defense is prepared enough…

MT: Yes, let’s hope the defenders handle the business!

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