Matt Turner is close to a transfer to Nottingham Forest worth up to £10M, per multiple reports. Arsenal have agreed to the move, and Turner completed a medical today (Monday). The U.S. Men’s National Team goalkeeper, who joined the Gunners in July 2022 for around £5M, made 5 appearances for the club, all in the Europa League. The outgoing Turner transfer anticipates Arsenal moving for David Raya from Brentford, a deal that should be completed in the coming days.
Turner was a strange addition for the Gunners from the start. He’s an excellent shot-stopper but he isn’t great with the ball at his feet. With the way Mikel Arteta wants to build from the back, strong distribution is a required goalkeeper skill. Perhaps Arsenal added Turner hoping that he could develop his ball-playing enough to be a serviceable backup. His dribbling and passing improved, but apparently not enough for Arteta’s liking. It became clear as the season progressed, i.e. the knockout stages of the Europa League, that Arteta did not trust Turner’s distribution enough to play him in matches of consequence.
Don’t get me wrong, Matt Turner is a fine goalkeeper. He’s just not the right second goalkeeper for Arsenal. He should do well at Nottingham Forest. He’ll face plenty of shots — Forest conceded the 6th most shots and shots on target last season. And he won’t be asked to start the buildup — Forest attempted the fewest short passes of any Premier League club.
It’s not clear that Turner will be the number one keeper. Forest reportedly want to bring Dean Henderson back to the club, too. Henderson spent last season on loan at Forest from Manchester United and the two clubs are working towards another loan move. They’re reportedly hung up on the number of appearances that will trigger an obligation to buy.
Whether Arsenal end up receiving the full £10M for Turner’s transfer or some amount less than that, it’s still a fine piece of business. The Gunners will make a couple million pounds on a player who made 5 appearances for the club. And it’s a good move for Turner, too. Like Auston Trusty (who was also sold to Sheffield United in early August), he’ll have gone from MLS to a good chance at a starting spot in the Premier League in less than two years.
Aren’t win-win-win (selling club, buying club, player) transfer moves great? Best of luck, Matt!