Matt Turner, Arsenal’s new American goalkeeper, promises to challenge Aaron Ramsdale to the No. 1 jersey.

Matt Turner, Arsenal's new American goalkeeper, promises to challenge Aaron Ramsdale to the No. 1 jersey.

Mikel Arteta signed new Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner as a backup to Aaron Ramsdale, but he vows to push the England international all the way.

When asked about the reputation of him being a backup at the Emirates Stadium, Turner told Sky Sports News: “I can see why they’d think that.” Aaron had a fantastic season with Arsenal, performing admirably throughout the season.

The New England Revolution shot stopper agreed to join Arsenal in February but has spent the last three months with his MLS club.

“I’d agree with it for now. I’m coming in to push him and become the best goalkeeper I can become, while also making him the best goalkeeper he can become. That’s really my goal for it all.”

“The project they have going on there, [I want to be] an important part of the locker room, adding some experience – not a ton of Premier League experience – but national team experience, league experience and playing games in pressured environments. I’ll be an older head in the locker room, being 28.”

“We’ve talked a little bit,” Turner said when asked if he has spoken to Gunners boss Mikel Arteta. “His main message for me was just to focus on what I need to focus on right now, getting through these next few months, staying healthy, staying fit and getting ready for pre-season and compete.

One of Ramsdale’s major strengths is his ability to play the ball out of the back with his feet, a skill that Turner is not totally fluent in – but the American admits he is getting better at his distribution through his work with the United States national team.

Asked if playing out the back is something he wants to do at Arsenal, he said: “Definitely, the DNA of this team is possession-based and I believe that’s what they will expect from me when I get on the pitch.

“It’s the area of my game that some call a weakness but one where I’ve improved over the past few months. I’m connecting a few more passes, reading the game better and understanding the way I can hurt teams a lot better. “We don’t play that [passing] style in New England but when I go with the national team, we do. When I have extended periods with the national team, I read the game better and make more passes.

“I’m excited to be at Arsenal to do that every single day instead of two or three weeks here or there.” Turner’s arrival in north London next week could be part of a busy few days for the club. Arsenal are close to announcing the £34m signing of FC Porto midfielder Fabio Vieira – and are optimistic about signing Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus, rated at £50m.

The Gunners have also signed teenage Brazilian winger Marquinhos from Sao Paulo for £3m – and boyhood Arsenal fan Turner – who enjoyed watching the likes of Wojciech Szczesny, Mesut Ozil, Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez don the red of the club – is pleased about the fellow new faces potentially set to join him at the Emirates. “I have high expectations, this is a club that is investing heavily in some of the player transfers and I am somebody who wants to win,” he added. “I know the fans do as well. My expectations are the same as the fans want.”

Arsenal are yet to announce the signing but Vieira was understood to have been in north London on Thursday for a medical. The Gunners have since cooled their interest in Youri Tielemans making it more likely the Belgium midfielder will sign a one-year contract extension at Leicester.

Vieira will add further creative talent to Arsenal’s ranks, with the highly-rated midfielder having laid on a league-high 14 assists in the 2021/22 Primera Liga campaign. Arsenal close to Vieira | Gunners optimistic over Man City’s Jesus
Porto confirmed the deal to sell midfielder Vieira to Arsenal for £34m including add-ons, in a statement on Friday.

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