Arsenal have completed the signing of Stephan Lichtsteiner on a free transfer.
The Swiss defender, who had long been linked with a move from Juventus, his home for seven years, to North London, looked delighted to finally become an Arsenal player.
The Gunners announced his arrival earlier today on a one-year contract with the option of a further year; the Grasshopper academy graduate will begin training at Colney after captaining Switzerland at the World Cup.
Speaking to the club’s official website, Lichtsteiner said, “It is a great moment for me, after Juventus, to come to Arsenal. It is a project to come back into the Champions League, it is hard to see a club like Arsenal that is not playing in the Champions League if you see the players, the club, the stadium. The big objective is to come back on the highest level.” He added.
It is understandable that a section of our fans are underwhelmed by the signing of Lichtsteiner, who risks losing a yard of pace at 34 and it would be wrong for Emery to start him every game.
However, his arrival could be exactly what is required to get the best out of fellow right-back Hector Bellerin, who has suffered from a lack of both competition and guidance; Lichtsteiner will bring both.
Unai Emery, a more meticulously intense man manager than predecessor Arsene Wenger, will demand the highest standard from Bellerin in terms of commitment, defensive positioning and technical output.
The fact Emery now has a steady, reliable performer who is proven on the European stage to potentially turn to, means Bellerin has no room for error and we could therefore see a more driven performer, much like the man we saw back in 2015, when he was fighting for his place.
Furthermore, the new signing is a serial winner, of which our squad, although talented, does not have many. Only Petr Cech and Danny Welbeck – both of whom could be out of the starting eleven come August – have won one of Europe’s top five leagues.
Lichtsteiner, who has won 14 trophies over 201 appearances at his previous club, will bring vital title-winning experience.