Confirmed: Arsenal to sign Stephan Lichtsteiner

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Arsenal have confirmed the signing of Switzerland captain Stephan Lichtsteiner on a free transfer.

The 34-year-old was out of contract at Juventus after a seven-year stint in Turin that saw him win seven consecutive Scudettos. He pens a one-year deal with an option for Arsenal to extend that by 12 months.

In total, the defender, who can play at either right-back or in the middle, scored 14 goals in 250 appearances for the Old Lady after signing from Lazio.

He’ll bring huge experience to a Gunners backline that has lost Per Mertesacker to retirement and Laurent Koscielny to a long-term injury. Fingers crossed his winning mentality can rub off on the likes of Calum Chambers, Rob Holding and Konstantinos Mavropanos.

Lichtsteiner will join up with his new teammates after the World Cup, and will wear the number 12 shirt next season.

Head coach Unai Emery says, “Stephan brings huge experience and leadership to our squad. He’s a player with great quality with a very positive and determined attitude.

“Stephan will improve us on and off the pitch.”

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Da Boss
Da Boss

Great news and a great signing, even more so on a free. Hopefully this is the start of the revolution. Come on you Gooners.

Wengerthegoal
Wengerthegoal

old man revolution

Sànde Class
Sànde Class

Why man! :/ WHY DO YOU HAVE TO BE LIKE THIS??! D’arvit!

Sànde Class
Sànde Class

Like how it is in that necessary evil (like friction) site, there’s no nested reply feature – reply to a reply – for comments huh?

David C
David C

I love this signing too. I’ve always been a huge fan of his, hopefully he has a couple of years left in the tank.

Ozenal
Ozenal

If he can play centre back then his career may be prolonged a bit. Similar to how Monreal switched between left back and centre.

Sànde Class
Sànde Class

Revolution! Even accounting for the debacle caused by the new stadium’s move this past, I’ll still thumb you up for the positive…… pragmatism. 👊

Basswielder
Basswielder

The Free Revolution

WellArsed
WellArsed

Great news! Given that he’s on a free and brings some much-needed experience to a wobbly defence, this is a sensible first trade for the new look Arsenal.

mrytle
mrytle

Mr. Professional. He comes across as a calm and classy individual, while anybody who watched Switzerland – Spain the other day will see he’s still got it, put in an absolutely blinding cross in the second half.

swissgooner
swissgooner

Sorry for being a spoilsport, but being Swiss I’ve followed this player very closely for 15 years now and he’s anything but calm. He keeps complaining to the ref about anything and commits a lot of mean and real dirty fouls. He’s also caused a lot of uproar within any team he’s played for, also within the national team where he made some rightwing-comments about the higher value of those players with purely Swiss roots to those with an immigrant background. He’s definitely the most unpopular captain we’ve ever had.
Of course it’s good to be ambitious and challenge your team-mates. But I can’t see him at all accepting a backup-role to Belle. Basically I’m happy about any Swiss being a Gunner, but I’m not excited about this transfer. Sorry.

mrytle
mrytle

Fair enough, interviews can be deceiving
Maybe a bit of rough and tumble is no bad thing, we’ve complained of a lack of backbone for the last decade. Minus the right-wing comments of course, surely he can’t hold those views with Xhaka in the side.

Merlin's Panini
Merlin's Panini

Xhaka allegedly was also involved in a racial incident in an airport, although that all went a bit quiet so I’m assuming it was all bollocks.

Savage
Savage

He’s captain of the national side. I doubt it’s as bad as you describe.

Jack4343
Jack4343

See you just said all that negative stuff and all i got from it is that we just signed a player that has a bit of a bastard in him. About time!

Gudang Pelor
Gudang Pelor

Argh, now everytime l see his picture, can’t helo thinking he’s a racist. 🙁

Midgunner
Midgunner

He seems like a sensible replacement for Debuchy.

I hope he’s more than just back up for Bellerin though and puts real pressure on Hector’s first team place.

Deru
Deru

Time will tell whether this is a good signing or not. It is, however, pleasing to see the club on the front foot addressing our defensive frailties early in the transfer market. Let’s hope this is only the start to a productive summer.

Anne Noyd
Anne Noyd

He has a real android look about him, that’s what I call future-proofing the squad.

Herb Kazzaz
Herb Kazzaz

Yup, not bad news. Strengthening where it’s needed. It’s a decent, logical, level headed signing. It’s whelming. Not over or under.

Roof-attack
Roof-attack

my whelm is just balanced right now!

hotfuzz14
hotfuzz14

I’m so whelmed up… But wtf Fellaini is coming too? I don’t know what side of whelmed that would leave me

bystander
bystander

The guy is one of contemporary football’s greatest winners – seven scudetti in a row, four Coppa Italia, two UCL finals, and he was a major contributor to all those. However much he plays, can’t be anything but a good influence on this squad.

Sànde Class
Sànde Class

Loved the adjective – “one of contemporary football’s greatest winners”!

But maaan how quickly things change when one along with MANY more like minded peeps put their collective will together to rise to the top! The Old Lady that got relegated to the second tier is the prime example. In the Football world atleast.

Glocken
Glocken

I’ve just watched his interview on the club site, of course you can’t read much into a three minute video but he come across as serious, disciplined and very professional. He may only play Europa and the odd premier league game when there’s a heavy schedule but it would appear he’s one of the ‘leaders’ we’ve needed in the dressing round, I think he’ll call out anyone who is taking it easy.

We’ve needed someone like that for a while, encouraging.

hosehead75
hosehead75

If Bellerin goes through a bad patch again, we may see him in the league and Bellerin in the cups for a bit. Might be good for him.

xanat
xanat

if there are fewest arsenal players in the world cup – don’t worry – we will increase that number by signing new world cup players 🙂

DRB
DRB

Two right backs on the books? Does every club have back up in these positions?

Roof-attack
Roof-attack

some clubs buy loads of them just stop others buying them!

Savage
Savage

Some clubs pay crazy amounts for backup fullbacks. One club especially.

Charles
Charles

Hope he teaches Bellerin how to cross

Aminu
Aminu

You are sounding like Bellerin is as worst as Sagna when it comes to crossing

Tas Gunner
Tas Gunner

Sagna was “worst” at crossing? I saw my fair share of hot takes but this just takes the biscuit :/

PeteyB
PeteyB

Aye, my memories of Sagna suggest he was a pretty decent crossed of the ball.

Bendtner’s ego
Bendtner’s ego

Dagan was an amazing defender, but one of the WORST crossers of the ball that I can recall.

I remember watching his last season with us and thinking, “Is he ever going to get his be through without it being blocked?”

Bendtner’s ego
Bendtner’s ego

*Sagna

Bleeping auto correct should come pre-loaded with Arsenal squad names.

Tas Gunner
Tas Gunner

He wasn’t the best but i will call him decent myself.I will even accept “wasn’t good enough” but worst is just worng.Anyway,lets hope we find a tall tree for lichs delicious crosses …

JUlianski
JUlianski

Preferably a tall tree not named Fellaini…

John C
John C

I’m not expecting a lot from him on the pitch as the Premier League isn’t the preserve of 34 year old full backs, it’s just too demanding physically but if he can help Bellerin get back on track it could be worth it

John C
John C

To me this signing points to a culture problem being identified within the club more than anything else

Roof-attack
Roof-attack

i agree. the fans could sense that some players were coasting over the last 5 years , and the way some of the players played during the period when we were getting spanked by the big clubs away from home does call into question the work ethic as well as their preparation. there seemed to be acceptance of 2nd best was acceptable , which then slipped even further. i hope this helps address things in a positive way.

Wenger's Medulla Oblongata
Wenger's Medulla Oblongata

Bingo! You’ve got the mail on the head. I understand that people don’t see the sense in this signing from a long term, on the pitch viewpoint but, I think you’ve put it perfectly into perspective.

Wenger's Medulla Oblongata
Wenger's Medulla Oblongata

*hit the nail on the head

Fart OverJars
Fart OverJars

“Stephan will improve us on and off the pitch.”

On the pitch: Experience, leadership, solidity
Off the pitch: specialist pub quiz knowledge, Windsor knot specialist, high five/handshake/fist pump trifecta aficionado.

Rich
Rich

Are we just going around in circles?
We let go of Debuchy who’s 2years younger in January, who was also a very experienced back up to Bellerin
It’s Groundhog Day, his interview was revealing in that he didn’t mention the PL title, just that the mission was champions league participation.
Liverpool have already signed Fabinho and Keita, also looking at Fekir and a goalkeeper?
We’re swimming against the tide

matat
matat

There are pretty big differences between the two, lichtsteiner has won many trophies compared to debuchy, lichsteiner actually wants to join as a squad player and lichsteiner seems to have a very good social attitude.

While debuchy is probably a better player at this late stage, I think the mental aspect of being a winner/professional AND a good squad player make him a much better fit than debuchy was in this backup sorta role that I imagine him playing

Jack4343
Jack4343

Totally agree..I loved Debuchy as a player. His off-field dealings with the press turned me against him. He put himself first before the team and made public what should be been dealt with privately. I would’ve sold him a year earlier.

D ceee
D ceee

I didn.t love Debuchy on the pitch at all. Always too close to his centre backs. Lichsteiner is a miles superior player positionally

A Different George
A Different George

Debuchy desperately wanted to play enough so that he would be chosen for the France squad. The injuries, which were not his fault, and the emergence of Bellerin, made him try to move to Man United, which Wenger (rightly) refused to allow; after that, his relationship with the manager and the club was pretty much destroyed.

Prof Wenger to Emerytus
Prof Wenger to Emerytus

Debuchy was even considered as a possibility for the french national team going to this WC. He still has quality. Wenger destroyed this guy for new boy Bellerin and this is exactly why prince Bellerin takes his position in the club for granted.

WellArsed
WellArsed

Another major difference between the two is attitude. Rightly or wrongly, Debuchy was very unhappy with his role at Arsenal and had been wanting out for some time. Perhaps if he’d been kept until Emery had signed on things may have worked out differently but I think that ship had sailed some time ago. In recent years Debuchy has just been a malcontent. No club needs those.

hahahaha

I honestly don’t get the stick Debuchy gets. He must be one of the most unlucky footballers I encountered. He was good and just when things started looking up he got injured and in that process the french international lost his place for a youngster coming through the ranks and subsequently his national team’s place and never seemed to recover. That is though for anyone. Cut the man some slack.

Jack4343
Jack4343

We finished 37 points out of 1st last year. To even mention winning the title as a realistic goal this year is laughable unfortunately. This year we must steady the ship as we have been declining the last few years. Stop the slide and then rebuild piece by piece. It’ll work. Probably better this way than even dumping $300 million in one window and brining in a bunch of new talent. That way tends to upset the balance and idenity of the club as you need some familiarity about the squad. It’s just going to take time. Our backroom staff have a job and they are in the process of it. We have a job too…and it’s to be patient and let them do it. Won’t be easy that’s for sure..but we must.

One of them is lying!
One of them is lying!

u just need to look at chelsea when Mourinho left the 2nd time i think in 2016…they finished 10th or 11th i think..the following year Conte won them the title with Kante…so its not entirely impossible, if you have the ambition…just saying

Zino
Zino

Ok, but Chelsea were champions the year prior to finishing in mid table. They only imploded because of Mourinho’s management, not because of the talent in their team. You are talking about 2 very different situations in Arsenal today and Chelsea from 2 years ago. Very different.

lovely arse
lovely arse

I like this quite a bit. Necessary.

Bai Blagoi
Bai Blagoi

Am I the only one who dislikes this transfer? If we wanted experience and leadership we could have just let Per stay one more year – this Stephen guy is even older than him!
What’s next, sign that 30-year-old hobo from Man United and Yaya Toure for pound a week.. Then you will have a lot of experience.. and zero quality.

Mootilated
Mootilated

I don’t think Per wanted to continue. It wasn’t doing his mental health any good.

Tapps

Lichsteiner is a right back/right wing back/right winger. No comparison to Merts (who wanted to retire anyway).

Savage
Savage

You wanted Per as our backup RB? LOL LOL LOL.

Bai Blagoi
Bai Blagoi

No, I gave Per as example of experience and leadership. And I am convinced that you cannot simply import these qualities by signing a old guy on a 1-year deal.

When it comes to backup of Hector, this is not a solution, but postponing of the “problem”. If you believe that the RB needs an adequate alternative, you have to find a younger player that can learn and develop. Now the next summer we will be back to square one.

Not to mention that this guy is not even as good as Bellerin. Check their both stats:
https://www.whoscored.com/Players/15302/Show/Stephan-Lichtsteiner#player-tournament-stats-defensive
https://www.whoscored.com/Players/125211/Show/H%C3%A9ctor-Beller%C3%ADn#player-tournament-stats-defensive

So the best thing that can happen for me is that he holds some very inspiring motivational speeches in the dressing room, but ends his contract with 0 minutes on the pitch.

Paul
Paul

He is free what’s to lose? Nothing. But lots of possible gain here…move along please. 🙂

Bai Blagoi
Bai Blagoi

You know there are a lot of players on free transfer out there. We should not sign somebody only because he is free or cheap.
I hope you don’t wish Fellaini joining – he is free also. Or Yaya Toure — he even would agree to play for free.

Ausdrexler
Ausdrexler

Perhaps the plan all along is a stop gap fopr RB, spend this summers Transfer ‘warchest’ elsehwere on more immediate requirements, then look to bring in strength at RB the following year.
Could be part of a master plan!

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

Per is taking over the academy, who would he want to carry on playing when it made him ill?

Adi
Adi

We officially have some of the hardest players to spell in the league.

Double98
Double98

His name translates as “Light Stone”

He rocks (a little)

It’s exciting again
It’s exciting again

He crosses beautifully. Never been quick, but has intelligent positioning and infamous stamina levels. They don’t call him forest gump for his love of shrimp

Double98
Double98

And just to be clear, it’s not because he has a mental illness. Right?

Paul
Paul

Like your name. 🙂

Hantal
Hantal

Experienced (playing and winning), free, short term. Excellent signing. Unless he becomes Squillaci I guess

89 was fine
89 was fine

At first felt a little disappointed that we bring in some one of his age with no premier league experience but maybe the idea is he will help our current defenders to organise and learn their trade and help install a winning culture. he will definitely improve our European chances, so good luck and welcome.

SharpasFc
SharpasFc

Auba had no premier league experience but he fitted in with no problem. Even Laca hit the ground running but his injury curtailed what would have been a very productive year for him. PL experience isn’t everything. A certain Mr Sanchez has heaps of PL experience and look how well he is doing at his current club!

Pigtank
Pigtank

This will do the squad no harm at all. Good work

Ozenal
Ozenal

We been linked to a alot of defenders recently who can play wide and central. Sign of things to come.

Ie a midfielder/defender who can slot in-between the centre backs.

Modern football here we come!

Jack4343
Jack4343

People get caught up in the age issue. I understand their point but people age differently. Ronaldo is 33. Per is also 33. Some players just seem to defy the number. Let’s hope Stephan is one of them. Welcome to The Arsenal Stephan! Let’s win stuff!

Bai Blagoi
Bai Blagoi

Instead of hoping, we can check his stats (courtesy of 7amkickoff’s blog):
comment image

The guys is clearly on the decline.

D ceee
D ceee

Decline in what sense? Check hus assists last season

Paul
Paul

Yeah we should get the transfer fee back! 🙂

Yat
Yat

I don’t know why there is so much hue and cry about age profile of the player ….Cristiano Ronaldo is 33 would people talk about his age if we buy him?? Also a free transfer which adds much needed experience in defense one should not read too much beyond it

Greek Gooner
Greek Gooner

I don’t get why fans are upset by this, we desperately needed a RB to back up/compete with Bellerin and we’ve signed someone with vast experience, has won a boat load of trophies and is still capable of playing to a fairly high level. Plus hes free and it’s only a 1 year deal! Should we have spent 40-50mil on a squad player

Paul
Paul

I think “compete” with Bellerin is the truth! Hector could do with it I think. Great transfer imo.

Jarghs
Jarghs

Arsenal have signed someone older than me. It’s nice to feel young again.

Paul
Paul

Chortled out loud.

Cory
Cory

How anyone is upset about this deal, I will never understand. He’s reliable, yes he’s long in the tooth, but did you even watch him against Spain? He looked quite good for a 34-year old. Bellerin is a phenomenal talent, and this transfer looks to help him continue his growth. Competition, a proven winner, and someone to go to for advice. Oh, we didn’t break the bank? Oh, this isn’t exciting enough? Get over it, folks. Quality bit of business, but it certainly doesn’t need to be all that we do.

Paul
Paul

Big thumb from me.

Stephen

I don’t t really know what to feel about this signing, it could go either way. All the same #welcomeleichteiner

Stephen

I don’t even know what to feel about this signing it could go either way fingers crossed, all the same welcome stephan!!

Anshul
Anshul

Lichsteiner, Sokratis, Monreal, Koscielny & Cech.
Will this be the most aged back 5 in PL?

Carlos _ Santana
Carlos _ Santana

Number 12.. Got a lot of boots to fill there :p

Vehcede
Vehcede

So true, that is lowkey a cult-hero number

Merlin's Panini
Merlin's Panini

I would have been very excited by this three or four years ago.
If he hasn’t shown signs of decline yet then that’s promising. I just fear that the Premier League may be a bit too intense for him to adapt to quickly.
I hope I’m wrong and he has an absolute stormer.
Welcome Lichtsteiner!

jon

This signing must be seen in light of the very meager budget reportedly at Emery’s disposal. One way to get around this, is to sell. The only players that feel disposible AND can bring in some dough are Lacazette and Bellerin. I am a fan of both, and desperately hope to keep them.

With Bellerin in the team, Lichtsteiner gets a center back role, or more likely: The bench.

Thierry Bergkamp
Thierry Bergkamp

Is this the worst ever home kit?

Mike A Terian
Mike A Terian

How nice would it be if they could do a brain transplant between him and Mustafi.