It appears the Unai Emery revolution has well & truly begun at Arsenal. The Spaniard is looking to completely revamp an underperforming squad with new signings and different coaching techniques. On the recruitment front, we were promised names like Adrien Rabot, Ousmane Dembélé & Julian Draxler. Instead, the 46-year-old is going in a completely different direction. According to reports, Stephan Lichtsteiner is set to be the first signing of Unai Emery’s Arsenal reign.
Here are three things Stephan Lichtsteiner will bring to Arsenal.
As a player, Stephan Lichtsteiner has won an astounding 17 domestic trophies. He’s a man that knows how to win on the highest level. That level of know-how and experience is vital to an Arsenal team that has regularly been accused of not having enough leaders. At 34 years of age, Lichtsteiner has seen it all in world football, meaning the bright lights of the Premier League would not phase him at all.
Per Mertesacker’s retirement from the dressing room and Laurent Koscielny’s unfortunate injury means Arsenal will start the season without an experienced figure in the team. The addition of Lichtsteiner would solve that issue and help bolster the faltering mentality of this damaged Arsenal squad.
#2 Defensive Stability
It’s no locker room secret that Arsenal has been lambasted as one of the worst organised teams in England. The Gunners shockingly conceded 51 goals in the league this season, more than anyone else in the top seven, including Burnley. In contrast, at Juventus, Lichtsteiner only conceded 24.
It’d be nice to have a defender at the club that actually knows how to defend. Lichtsteiner is 34-years-old, meaning what has been drilled into him in Italy by Massimiliano Allegri and Antonio Conte cannot be undone with the naivety of Arsenal’s current defence. For sure, Lichtsteiner will provide us with assurance, reliability and confidence off the ball, something Arsenal hasn’t had since the days of Tony Adams.
#1 Squad Depth
The exit of Mathieu Debuchy in January meant that Arsenal finished the remainder of the 2017/18 season with only one out and out right-back. Knowing fully well he was his club’s first choice right-back, Héctor Bellerín didn’t perform up to the standards we know he’s capable of. Perhaps it was Arsène Wenger’s lax attitude towards him that catered for a complacent attitude from the Spaniard.
Regardless, those days are over as Unai Emery is one of the most hands-on managers in the world. On top of that, the presence of Stephan Lichtsteiner in the squad forces Bellerín to up his game. Competition breeds excellence, Bellerín will now have no other option than to give 100% effort as he knows Lichtsteiner could easily replace him and do a competent if not better job than him. Just look at Nacho Monreal, he significantly upped his game when Sead Kolašinac was signed in the summer. The same with Alexandre Lacazette with the arrival of Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang.
Stephan Lichtsteiner is an experienced defender that has consistently produced world-class performances in a career spanning close to 17 years. On a free transfer, he’s the perfect signing to usher in a new era at the Emirates.