Three reasons Stephan Lichtsteiner is a smart signing for Arsenal
Veteran will arrive on a free transfer
Arsenal’s first signing of the Unai Emery era isn’t a big-money arrival, it’s Juventus right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner on a free transfer.
Bringing in a 34-year-old at the end of his contract won’t set the pulses racing, but it has the makings of a good piece of business for the Gunners.
The Coral News Team have looked at three reasons why Lichtsteiner could be a success in North London…
Petr Cech, Mesut Ozil and Danny Welbeck are the only members of the Arsenal squad who have won a major European league title. There’s plenty of quality in the Arsenal ranks, but a real lack of winning experience. Lichtsteiner will help to change that.
The veteran was a key member of the Juventus side that has won seven straight Serie A titles – he made over 25 league appearances in each of those victorious campaigns.
He’ll help to raise the standards and lead by example. With so many young players in the squad, the Switzerland captain’s guidance could make a real difference.
Give Bellerin a breather
At Lichtsteiner’s age, he won’t expect to start every week. And with Hector Bellerin also in the squad, he’d be unlikely to anyway.
But his arrival will give Emery a dependable alternative at right-back to Bellerin. The Spaniard played more football than any other Arsenal player last season (4,131 minutes).
His role was especially demanding too. Most of the team’s build-up play under Arsene Wenger took place on the left, which usually meant he had to man the entire right flank on his own.
The Spaniard is lightning-quick, good on the ball and a tireless worker. He’s got everything needed to be a top full-back, but he looked exhausted at times last term. Now Lichtsteiner’s arrival can help to keep him fresh.
Value for money
Arsenal can’t compete with Manchester City and Manchester United financially. The Gunners need to take a different approach in the transfer market.
Reports suggest they have £70m to spend this summer. That won’t go far, especially if they need to improve in several key areas.
If they aren’t going to sell any of their stars to raise funds, Arsenal will have to look hard to find value.
Lichtsteiner may be coming to the end of his career, but he’s a serial winner in good shape. Getting him on a free transfer leaves money available for other signings and addresses a weakness in the squad. It could prove to be a very canny move.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing