Reports: Stephan Lichtsteiner to sign one year deal

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Various reports today say that Arsenal will sign Stephan Lichtsteiner on a one year deal, with an option for an extension should they choose to take that up.

The 34 year old Swiss international is available on a free transfer when his contract with Juventus expires, and he would provide back-up to Hector Bellerin as well as adding some experience to the squad.

Lichtsteiner adds not just the wisdom that comes with age, but also a track record of winning things, including 7 Serie A titles with Juve, the Coppa Italia four times, and Swiss league title with Grasshoppers – as well as almost 100 international caps.

Known for his beautiful singing voice, which teammates have likened to ‘angels serenading the very essence of nature itself’, his arrival seems to indicate that the new football executive structure at Arsenal – the IRS* – plus new head coach Unai Emery want to address the age profile of our defenders.

There’s a lot of youth and potential, but not enough ‘Been there, done that, worn the t-shirt’.

Some of them have been there; some of them have done that (or something closely approximating that – although Meatloaf said he would do anything but that if put in the same position); and some of them have worn t-shirts – particularly Hector Bellerin who is set to launch a range of sleeveless tops made from the fur of roadkill foxes and badgers – but very few have combined all three, which goes a long way to explain the Gunners sixth place finish last season.

Does it though? Does it really explain that? Well, it does if you want it to, and that’s all that matters. And if you don’t want to believe it, that’s fine. The world will keep turning. Probably.

Unless it falls out of the milky way and plummets into a new and weird galaxy where things actually make more sense than they do right now.

Here’s hoping.

*IRS = Ivan, Raul, Sven

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Faisal Narrage
Faisal Narrage

Doesn’t seem exciting, but it makes a lot of sense, particularly after that interview with Emery when he spoke of PSG and highlighted that a key issue for them was that they had a mental barrier as they didn’t know how to mentally overcome adversity in a game as many hadn’t experienced it before, so you can tell he’s someone the appreciates the role of experienced heads in a dressing room, as intangible as it may seem to us as fans.

Probably one of Wenger’s big mistakes when he ushered out the experienced heads for project youth (though most of it was financial), during adversity they simply had no one to turn to for guidance, particularly with Wenger’s “find the answers yourself” style of management.

TeeCee
TeeCee

One of Wenger’s foibles was having a strict policy of only offering a one year rolling contract to anyone over 30.
As a result they tended to usher themselves out the door when someone less fussy waved a two or three year one at them.

James Atkinson

Wenger dropped that policy years and years ago. Examples include Cech (4 year deal aged 33), Kos (2.5 year deal aged 31); he was even giving Rosicky 2 year deals when he was in his 30’s.

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner
Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

Yeap, that was after losing Pires the F***** King because he was 30 and wouldn’t give him a 2 year deal. We then gave a 4 year deal to 29 year old Arteta…One of the few things I’ll never “forgive” Wenger…

Mark
Mark

Hard to shoot anything down like this with no transfer fee and probably very reasonable wages if you look at it as an insurance policy or a depth move (which it certainly seems given just a one year deal) while we hopefully shore up other areas on the pitch this Summer.

shokim
shokim

Like an April Fool’s article but wrong date for that.

goongot
goongot

Honestly this defensive signings are a bit under_whelming.Reminds me of kim Kàllstrom.

Martin
Martin

Major exception is he’s not injured and is a genuinely good defender

santori
santori

yet

Bould's Eyeliner
Bould's Eyeliner

and Kim Kallstrom was a roaring lion. I don’t know about footballing, but the one match he played, I had great fun.

Vonnie
Vonnie

Kim Kallstrom was a legend, if they’re anything like him we’ll be amazing next season.

Barry
Barry

Kim signing was legendary. He helped win an FA Cup.

Savage
Savage

Everybody’s trying to sign defenders – it’s a tough market, especially for a team not in the Champions League and without megabucks

Rob67
Rob67

Indeed. Very sound point. For what it’s worth, I think this is really good signing. Thumbs – way – Up !

Skinnyarse
Skinnyarse

Karlstroom springs to mind 😖

midgunner
midgunner

Lets hope he doesnt develop a back injury playing beach football this summer.

Kay Tyma
Kay Tyma

Good addition… Maybe a back up to Bellerin

Just waiting to see a proper DM in our set up

IRS should do that for me

UGooner
UGooner

Heh I quite like the IRS acronym. But it got me thinking about the surnames as well.

Let’s hope our *SMG can get us firing again.

Come On You Gunners!

SMG = Sanlehi,Mislintat,Gazidis

Now, to wait for the outrage at the use of a gun metaphor or whatever.

Christopher Wreh
Christopher Wreh

I think this is very astute. We need right back cover, we need experience in defence, we need to save wonga and we need winners. 4 birds, one very scary looking Swiss stone.

Tasmanian Jesus
Tasmanian Jesus

Lichtsteiner I think will be a very useful signing.
Ive seen him play several times and he’s always impressed me with his no nonsense style and effectiveness going forward.
He has that Juventus defense winning mentality like Chiellini. He’s also a bit nuts and offers a lot of bastardosity.
One of the best right backs in the world the last 5-10 years, and after seeing him play this season as well, I think he has another couple of very good seasons left in him.
Signing definately approved by me!

Fireman Sam
Fireman Sam

Bastardosity, lol. Great word. That is normally a characteristic I associate with oil money wearing blue. But a bit of toughness at Arsenal would be welcome for sure.

Twatsloch
Twatsloch

While we let our younger players mature and before finding more long term defensive solutions this is a good signing. And who knows, we might get more than one season out of him.

Good to see us strengthening our defence!

Berlingoon
Berlingoon

Are we buying on field coaches maybe? Sokratis looks like a perfect role model for Mavropanos and Lichtensteiner could be a very helpful mentor for both, Hector and Granit.
Think no one of us has a vague idea of what IRS and Unai have in mind with this squad so it’s hard to judge certain signings. I will wait until the transfer window closes and see where we are then.
As the Ramsey quotes seemed pretty encouraging I think the biggest risk of losing a top player is gone. So now we can concentrate on making that squad stronger.

Eric Blair
Eric Blair

I would’ve gone with SIR rather than IRS.

‘The new manager had better mind himself and cooperate when dealing with SIR’

Sounds kind of menacing, like a Bond villain.

Fireman Sam
Fireman Sam

IRS sounds more menacing to an American!

Toure motors
Toure motors

When i think of lichsteiner and sokratis, I think of carl weathers. There is still a lot of meat on their bones. Take the home to the Emirates. Add in a potato (spudran Mustafi), some broth (nacho flavor), baby you got a stew going!!

Homer
Homer

Not totally sure what this comment means, but I like the positivity of it. So gimme a spoonful … thumbs up!

Group Captain Mandrake
Group Captain Mandrake

It’s an Arrested Development reference.

Paul
Paul
Chrispy
Chrispy

Weirdly its just what we need as cover.
He’s no Silvestre thats for sure

Mayor McCheese
Mayor McCheese

Good signing. For years, I’ve enjoyed saying his name out loud. I’d often just call him “Derelicte” in the voice of Zoolander’s Mugatu, though of course Lichtsteiner is not a tramp, so far as I’m aware.

Andy Gillan
Andy Gillan

I think it’s a good squad signing. He’s great cover for Bellerin, he’s pretty much won everything with Juventus so has plenty of experience in dealing with big game pressure and will certainly offer us a more physical and robust option in defence and of course he’s free.

The transfer money we would have paid can be invested into a long term central midfielder or goalkeeper.

We need players who can organise a defence, so if he can bring those leadership skills to this group for 12 months I’m all for it.

santori
santori

We already have AMN.

He may be less experience but has better recovery pace.

Would prefer we get the best player at Cback and forget about rback.

Rather spend what we will on this fellows salary for a year to put some extra dosh on a better option at CBack than an aging Greek player with less than a stellar season from…Dortmund …again.

Trez
Trez

I can remember warning people that Arsenal will eventually fall behind Spuds and Liverpool and that we’d finish 6th place…but as usual – I was called “negative” and what not.
Now we are all seeing it now. Linked to a washed 34 year old rb (good thing he’s free) and paying 17m for a crap 30 year old cb. Brace yourselves ladies and gentlemen – we won’t be making the top 4 anytime soon.
Wenger, The board and Kroenke have destroyed this club. We are finished.

Paul
Paul

Glass half empty Trez? 🙂

Zonda
Zonda

I, for one, am pleased that he take his personal hygiene seriously.

Chilli
Chilli

Who exactly did you warn and how? Were those “people” able to intervene/help? Who called you “negative”? And what else did they call you?
Those are the questions you should be asking yourself

Oberon
Oberon

No, I believe you were called a cunt and it looks like you haven’t changed.

Spaceman
Spaceman

It could be a short to long-term move… Sell Bellerin for megabucks to Barca to be reinvested in the team in more troublesome areas. Have lichtsteiner for a season to maintain quality and bring some winning mentality – but much cheaper. And at the same time develop maitland-miles for the position long-term. I’d be open to that scenario.

Public Elneny
Public Elneny

His legs still seem to work but 34 is not the age to be adapting from Serie A to the EPL surely.

I guess this signing + Sokratis is partly with the intention of building a more competitive mentality among the players

santori
santori

Just a poor decision to bring older players into PL.

Its injury waiting to happen.

The amount of fast wingers like Sane etc they will be facing, its difficult to see us punching above where we are currently if we keep signing old legs.

We should be looking at players close to or in their prime rather than a 29yr old Greek defender who has had an underwhelming season.

Even if we wanted the experience to bring someone at 29yrs, at least get someone who has been at top top level like a Boateng of Javi Martinez from Bayern, both 29yrs and one surely will be considered for sale.

Its not like the Greek defender cost nothing either.

De Vrij was out of contract but now Inter have moved in.

King Nacho
King Nacho

The argument of slow players struggling against fast wingers seems faulty to me. Sure, it could happen, but it’s not necessarily a given. A good system could help a slow defender hold his own against a fast winger. Case in point our very own BFG.

Michael dabs

Been reading this blog for years but first time poster.
This looks like a good signing to instill a winning mentality into this set of players at the club. #Coyg

Gunnertron
Gunnertron

LALS- like a loan signing.

santori
santori

Still seem to be doing the same as before new set up. Nothing has changed.

Cheap options worthy of mid table or at best europa.

We already have AMN showing great potential at fullback. Just switch him to his natural side.

Why reinvent the wheel and add someone to salary structure we don’t need?

Well at least its a one year deal. Insurance policy.

Maybe he's born with it, maybe it's Bellerin
Maybe he's born with it, maybe it's Bellerin

‘Loaf says he wouldn’t but a fiver says he would………. for love

TastyArse
TastyArse

We have one rb on this squad, no AMN is not a rb. If anything lichsteiner can play in europe, early fa rounds, league cup. And hes a good player that cost nothing. Some of you guys need to get a grip.

Stu
Stu

With everyone mentioning Maitland-Niles playing at full back is it mad to view this as a weird way of managing Jack’s likely departure?

Hear me out – Maitland-Niles is a talented young player who’s gained first team experience in a variety of positions this season (midfield in early stages of Europa and Cups, fullback in other games) with Emery coming out and saying he’s excited by him. With the Lichsteiner signing we get a similar option to Nacho/Kolasinac on the left with him and Bellerin on the right (experience/youth) and instead of continuing to use AMN as a talented back up in a number of positions we can see him grow into ONE position that he might reach first team regular status in!

That way we lose Wilshere’s relatively high wage demands, bring in another free signing that frees up one of our exciting young players to make the position his own!

Oberon
Oberon

He’s also a much better midfielder than fullback IMO.

Tennessee
Tennessee

Rambling Pete is that you?

Magnumopus
Magnumopus

3 years too late by my reckoning