Nottingham star explains why he had no choice but to leave club after tough year

US international Matt Turner pinpointed the moment he realised he had to leave Arsenal to make his Premier League breakthrough.

The ex-Gunners back-up was restricted to a limited role at the Emirates Stadium and joined Nottingham Forest in search of game-time. Despite being a mainstay for his country, the 29-year-old failed to make a single appearance in his spell in North London.

In all, the shot-stopper turned out for Mikel Arteta’s outfit on just seven occasions, with all of those coming in cups competitions. Finding his path to first team action blocked by number one Aaron Ramsdale and new signing David Raya, he eventually decided to move on.

Now, the former New England Revolution star has opened up on his reasons for seeking a switch away from the club after just one season. Speaking about his struggles for opportunities with last year’s Premier League runners-up, he told GOAL: “Towards the end of the season I felt like there’s games that I could have been playing.

“I wasn’t even getting really a sniff of them. I was training really well, doing I felt like everything in my power to get myself minutes on the team and that just wasn’t happening for me.”

Explaining that he felt he had no option but to transfer, he asserted: “I knew that if I waited another year, it probably would have been more challenging for me to make a lateral move within the Premier League. So I knew that time was of the essence at that point.

“If I went another season without playing, I would have probably had to take a step back. And once you’re out of it, it’s hard to get back into it, especially when you’re not English.”

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USMNT star Matt Turner left Arsenal for Nottingham Forest this summer

Ultimately, his move to the City Ground appears to have been a shrewd decision from the American as he has been a regular starter so far for Steve Cooper. In contrast to his time with the 13-time league champions, he has made four appearances in the league already.

Despite his clear frustration at his lack of chances with his previous employers, Turner does not appear to hold any bitterness, however. In fact, he speaks glowingly about the man who was keeping him out of the Arsenal team during the last campaign.

He added: “Credit to Aaron [Ramsdale], really, because he brought it every single day. When he had opportunities, when doors were cracked open, he always slammed it back shut. And I think he’s a really talented goalkeeper.”

The Reds’ new recruit has conceded six goals in his first month with the two-time European champions and the team sits in ninth place going into the international break. Turner may have lost on his return to the Emirates on opening day but an away win versus Chelsea was a big scalp for Cooper’s team.