Stephan Lichtsteiner joined Arsenal as part of Unai Emery’s new regime.
The decorated Swiss veteran came to the Gunners on a one year deal and was meant to push Hector Bellerin on the right side of defence.
Fast forward to the present day and Lichtsteiner has said his goodbyes to the fans via Instagram, to signal the end of his short Arsenal career.
It is safe to say that the defender hasn’t set the world alight during his time at the club. He made just 14 appearances for us during last season, and the start to his time here was a real baptism of fire for the experienced right-back.
Two consecutive losses to Manchester City and Chelsea coincided with a defensive crisis for Unai Emery. It saw Lichtsteiner introduced on the left of defence, and from there, it was never a comfortable adaptation for the Swiss captain.
Lichtsteiner made his name at Juventus and also spent three years previously with Lazio. His football was honed in Serie A, and he was used to the more static attacking that Italy provides. To put it bluntly, Lichtsteiner struggled to deal with the frenetic pace that the Premier League operates in, and at times he was brutally exposed.
It doesn’t make Lichtsteiner a terrible player. The man has an excellent pedigree and has played at the top for some time, but the 35 year old couldn’t handle the upturn in pace after a decade in Italy, and the competition he was meant to provide on the right sadly never showed.
He would be a wise head in training, helping our younger players with their composure and preparation, but in terms of what he brought to the pitch, it didn’t live up to expectations.
His departure means that we have lost four members of the current squad on free transfers. Four spots that need to be filled, but with not one penny involved, it means that the transfer budget will be stretched just that little bit further.
Stephan Lichtsteiner came over from Italy and attempted to continue his high standards, but in the end, the Premier League was just too much for him.
Thanks for the effort Stephan, and good luck on the next step in your career.