Keeping Matt Turner increases the New England Revolution’s chances of winning a MLS Cup in 2022 but Matt Turner should go to Arsenal if Matt Turner wants to go to Arsenal.
Long-time Revolution fans will remember the transfer saga of Taylor Twellman. The star striker garnered a multi-million dollar offer from Preston North End in 2008 but the deal was ultimately nixed.
It was a different time in MLS as teams only received a fraction of the transfer fee. Still, Twellman wasn’t overly pleased with the outcome.
The current ESPN commentator summarized his feelings in an interview with Steven Goff on Jan. 11, 2008, saying, “I’m everywhere from confused to mad because I don’t know where we are on this. I have always been told that there is no international interest out there for me, but if there were, they would consider it. So it’s at the point where I feel like they’ve gotta sell me or compensate me, whether it’s with money or more guaranteed years. I don’t have to make big Designated Player money. I just want something to happen.”
Twellman reflected on the incident in a Dec. 2021 interview with MLS UK Show, noting that he was “honestly stunned they didn’t take it.” Twellman said he got to the point of looking at overseas real estate.
This moment didn’t destroy the relationship between Twellman and the only MLS club he ever played for. Twellman is a Revs legend and he continues to work closely with the organization.
Still, I think the 2008 saga reminds us that you have to do what’s best for the player.
The offer for Twellman could’ve been the second largest transfer fee in MLS history to that point. It could’ve been good for both the player and club. Sure, you lose a franchise player, but you also make his dreams come true.
This is the moment that we’re in with Turner. In 2021, the 27-year-old was the CONCACAF Gold Cup Golden Glove winner and MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. Not bad for a kid from New Jersey that wasn’t drafted.
Now he’s being eyed by one of England’s most storied clubs. If Turner wants to go then the Revs should let him go.
Of course, it might not be the right move for Turner because the World Cup is looming. He’s currently battling Zack Steffen to be the USMNT’s top goalkeeper. It’s often been said that Turner’s biggest advantage is that he’s getting regular playing time. Turner isn’t likely to get the same minutes if he moves to Arsenal.
If Turner thinks this move is right for him then the Revs need to let him go. Sure, money is a factor, but Twellman is reporting that the offer is substantial. If it’s $7 million or more like MLSSoccer.com’s Tom Bogert is reporting then the Revs have to take it.
Turner has been amazing for the Revolution both on and off the field. If he thinks it’s time to head to Europe then make the deal happen.
To be clear, the Revs have appeared to be a player-friendly organization in recent years. They’ve honored requests and extended contracts. Selling Turner to Arsenal would be another sign that this organization is willing to do the right thing for its players.