Matt Turner may have had to wait for official confirmation of his move to Arsenal but he says the club have been doing what they can to make him feel part of the first team squad since a deal was originally struck with New England Revolution back in February.
Tempering the excitement of a high-profile move to London, the USA international has had to contend with an untimely hairline crack in his foot that ruled him out of the opening two months of the MLS season. He eventually returned to action in May for five games before cautiously riding out his final month as a Revolution player without getting on the pitch.
During that time, the likes of Mikel Arteta, Aaron Ramsdale and goalkeeper coach Inaki Cana all contacted the American to help smooth his transition to life on this side of the pond.
Speaking to Arsenal.com, Turner confirmed chats with the boss: “Of course, yeah, we’ve been in contact over the past few months, he checked in on me a few times, and we’ve started to develop that relationship.
“Him as well yeah, pretty close contact,” he said of Inaki Cana’s role.
“Especially once I was back playing games, looking at some things, some clips and just talking about games, and looking at training clips, and those kinds of things, so the back and forth was really, really nice, so again that’s another way of just feeling like I was part of the club, even though I wasn’t here in north London.”
He added: “It [the wait] was a little tricky at times, but the good thing was I got to follow along the tail-end of last season and watch every game Arsenal was playing, and really feel like I was a part of it which was interesting, but I did have a slight injury that kept me out for a bit so really my focus in this past few months was just getting back to full fitness, and then playing some games to get a rhythm, and that’s leading nicely into the start of pre-season here.”
While Turner admits he arrives at the Emirates as backup to Aaron Ramsdale, he’s intent on pushing the England international to new heights. It appears a relationship is already growing between the pair.
“Yeah, he and I have been in contact,” said Turner. “He checked in on me, make sure I’m settling in well.
“He seems like a great guy, I’m looking forward to not only getting to know him, but making him a better goalkeeper and to pushing him to be his best.”
The new boy won’t have to wait too long before a return to the States. After a couple of weeks training at London Colney, Arsenal head to Baltimore and Orlando for a trio of pre-season friendlies.
“I’m very excited to get back to the States, show the guys around, tell them what I know about those areas and it will be a nice way for me to integrate into the group, right, to get to know the guys a little bit better and just to have that immediate connection. That and the fact we drew England in the World Cup!”