Arsenal are reportedly set to sign Stephan Lichtsteiner on a free transfer,.
The Gunners have been in talks with the free agent ever since he left Juventus, and it seems that he has agreed a one-year switch to the Emirates Stadium, with the option of a further year, once his current contract runs out on the 30th June, according to popular Italian publication, Gazetta dello Sport.
New manager Unai Emery had identified the experienced Swiss defender as the man to add big-game mentality and leadership to the Arsenal back-line following the long-term injury to club captain, Laurent Koscielny, who is only going to return to first team football in December.
He would also provide competition for Hector Bellerin. The 23-year-old’s dip in form over the last 12 months causes concern, but it might prove foolish to dismiss a player potentially just coming to his peak.
Bellerin was perhaps guilty of complacency in the absence of alternative right-backs; while he should take some personal responsibility for this, the lack of intensity in Arsene Wenger’s coaching might have been a factor.
By contrast, Emery will demand that Bellerin improves both his defensive awareness and his attacking output to match his undoubted pace. With a proven performer on the European stage now competing for a place in the Spaniard’s position, he will have to meet his boss’ requirements to keep his place and could therefore become a better player for Lichtsteiner’s arrival.
This is how the 34-year-old will look like in an Arsenal jersey once he completes his move.
The Grasshopper academy graduate is ready to make a move to the Premier League after nine years playing in the Serie A firstly with Lazio and latterly, Juventus, where he became one of the finest right-sided defenders in Europe.
The Swiss Footballer of the Year 2015, who has won 17 trophies in a glittering career, is believed to have received offers to stay in Italy as well as being linked to clubs in China. In his prime he was a dynamic, lung-busting defender, but his advancing age means that in North London, he might be used more economically.