Stephan Lichtsteiner has learned many things in his distinguished career.
Defensive nous has been honed, temper has been channelled, timing has been perfected. Lichtsteiner has learned much.
Patience is another thing that has been accumulated, and it’s a good thing too, with the Swiss defender enjoying his first season from the bench.
Hector Bellerin has been a huge asset in our attacking play so far in our four games, but our system, rather than Bellerin’s defensive stylings, has left us wide open on the flank.
Lichtsteiner will get his chance though. Last season saw Bellerin rotated very little, and errors crept into his game as fatigue wore the Spaniard down. We now have the luxury of having a certified starter as backup, and the Swiss veteran is ready to make an impact wherever he plays.
He has made an appearance, but this was as an emergency left-back. We are yet to see him in his preferred position on the right.
Another possibility could be tp have Lichtsteiner play as a conventional right-back and push Bellerin further up the field. We would then have a winger who tracks back and covers, and this option could be well utilised in tight games against fellow top4 rivals.
The good thing about Emery is his fluidity to change. He is open to chopping things up to match our opposition. This also means that the full squad will be harnessed - good news for Lichtsteiner.
Such is his quality, Lichtsteiner could keep out Bellerin for an extended period of time. Once he starts to play, his fitness levels, experience and gamesmanship could be a welcome addition to our team, especially during our shaky times learning a new method of playing out from the back.
It is such a bonus to have a viable player waiting in the wings and is a testament to our strength in depth. Once he starts, just watch Lichtsteiner go.