Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Report: Emery to make veteran Swiss first Arsenal signing

According to the Guardian, veteran Swiss defender Stephan Lichtsteiner could be Unai Emery’s first Arsenal recruit.

The 34-year-old defender is out of contract at Juventus this summer and says he’ll play his football elsewhere once he’s done captaining his country at the World Cup in Russia.

“I’m playing in one of the biggest clubs in Europe and there’s always competition for places,” Lichtsteiner told Mediaset earlier this month.

“But my future is going to be away from Turin. At the end of the season, I’m leaving. I’ll play abroad next year, but I’ve not signed anything yet.”

In light of Per Mertesacker’s retirement and Laurent Koscielny’s injury – the Frenchman is not expected to be back in action until November – this could well be a short-term and thrifty answer to our comparative lack of experience in the centre of defence. He could also provide back-up to Hector Bellerin at right-back.

On paper, Shkodran Mustafi is our most senior available centre-back right now, although Nacho Monreal is also an option. Of course, we could also sign other defensive recruits between now and 11 August when the new season kicks off.

Lichtsteiner had been linked with a move to Borussia Dortmund, but that appears to have collapsed.

“I’m not going to BVB,” he told Blick. “We couldn’t come to an agreement. There’s nothing more to say about that.”

Related articles



newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

I am whelmed.


I actually think it’s a clever signing. He’s not a world-beater anymore at 34, but can still do a job and is good cover at CB and RB, which we desperately needed for Hector. He’s also a different type of RB than Hector… someone El Boss can utilize tactically depending on the competition, yes, but also someone that Hector can learn from. A very solid signing if true.


I think this is an excellent signing. We get a decent backup to hector and maaybe CB position. But what i really like about this signing is the guy is a serial winner . we cannot sign bunch of talented young players and expect them to be world beaters . it takes increadible mental stamina to win something as a team. And often times in those teams you could see players like zlatan and toure who are increadibly charismatic and serial winners, proper leaders. In difficult times they would rally and drag the team out of the mud. Leichestner and… Read more »


He was critical in turning the match around against sp*rs when he came on late in their champion’s league tie. That’s all I need to know to feel comfortable with this free signing.

Emery in Aubalaca wonderland

Per was critical in our FA cup win two years ago and was done and not used last season.

Mayor McCheese

One clue that this might be a bad analogy is that Lichtsteiner is nicknamed “The Swiss Express,” while Mertesacker is nicknamed “The German Treebeard.”


Ornstein is reporting it, sounds like it’s on

Eric Blair

Makes perfect sense. Cash in on Bellerin, maybe 40m, this guy on a free and promote Chambers to reserve RB. Transfer budget already up to 90m for the others we need.

Maul Person

Bellerin has just been given the No.2 jersey. Where exactly do you think he’s going? There’s also the small matter of this article explicitly stating that Lichtsteiner is coming in to provide cover for Bellerin / Koscielny.



I agree that Bellerin is going nowhere. But surely this guy isn’t not cover for Kos.

I can see the logic in it as a cheap way of providing cover at rb, but is he any different to Debuchy?

What Hector really needs is someone competing seriously for his place in the team. And this guy’s unlikely to do that.


Can we just acknowledge that Chambers isn’t an RB anymore , Monteiro concluded that hypothesis for us.

Tasmanian Jesus

To me, he was never an RB.


A 33 year old world cup winner in mertesacker is too old to play for the club so we sign a 34 year old Swedish defender…. ?


He’s Swiss. And Mertesacker won the WC 4 years ago while Lichtsteiner played 27 games for the Italian champions this season.


Does he ever play at CB?


Only in a back three, I think


Good backup to our backup.

Ann Noyd

I’d say he’s much more a right back or rwb, no? Can’t say I’ve ever seen him at center half. Surely he’ll be cover for Bellerin, not chambers etc

Epworth Gunner

Yes, this is cover for RB, not CB. Or, let me put it this way, I would be surprised if he was bought for CB cover (I don’t think he’s ever played there on a regular basis). The age is a real worry here, but apparently he’s an incredible athlete, so he could play at the top level for another couple of years.


Yeah, look at how people thought Kolarov was done when he got phased out by Pep. He’s been great for Roma, despite being 33 (?).


Evra springs to mind


Good point. I watch more Serie A than probably healthy and Kolarov has been a revelation for Roma.

Merlin's Panini

I just think at 34 it is a bit too late to be moving to the premier league.
Serie A is full of players who play well into their 30s but it’s a very different game there. Not based as much on raw power and athleticism and I worry he might struggle. That said he is a really good player so I hope it works out well if it happens.


Does anyone know what time of player he is?

Is he fast?

Faisal Narrage

He’s not always there when you call, but he’s always on time.
And he’ll give us his all,
So Lichtsteiner be mine.


A Rolex I hope.


“insane speed” apparently. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HPWNoxaxRos


Looks good


Could be a good signing, despite his age this guy has mad stamina, so I think he’s going to be ok. Anyway, another RB is a must – Bellerin need to face some competition and can also gain a lot from Lichtsteiner’s experience.

Don’t get the part about our centre of defence, this guy can play anywhere on the line, but has nothing to do with being a CB.


I like the signing if it happens. If it means we can spell Hector for 20-25 minutes here and there and for nothing games then so be it. I think hector is smart enough to realise that emery and Lichtsteiner are two excellent learning tools for him. Expecting a massive season from him next year (hector)


Get him, Seri(40£), Butland(15£), New CB I’d say we had an above average transfer window


Seri’s clause is 35.
Also, a DM is a must and maybe a “natural” winger.

Lucas Sam

What about promoting AMN


Love this kid, but only AW couldv’e seen him as a proper DM.

Michael Bolton Wanderers

You probably have to add at least another 15 to butland’s price. He is English after all


It seems that we are signing Bernd Leno the German International keeper who is understudy to Neuer. Must be better than Butland who is no better than what we have


Really? As much as I hate Stoke, I really rate Butland.


Seems like a great deal to me. Definitely need a back up RB yet it’s not a position we can splash the cash on. Tons of experience and from what I’ve heard mad work ethics.


jesus, we have got enough OLD players as it is, we don’t want anymore


Apparently still a great athlete of a player, free transfer even if it ends up being short-term, in a position where we only really have one first team player who could really do with some competition and new ideas (no, Maitland-Niles is not a right back)…it’s not as much of a problem as you think it is, really. Or, there’s a lot more “upside” than “downside”.


Oh, and also experienced so we can reasonably expect to avoid the kinds of errors we’d forgive the likes of Mavropanos.


I agree and cannot see the logic of this signing.


If he can bring Monreal levels of commitment and reliability on that right hand side, then it gives us a great option to Bellerin.

Wreh's FA Cup dream

If we can sign squad players on a free or on the cheap, then that’ll mean we can use our limited budget on the starting XI. Surely that’s a good thing?


Still has impact on salaries plus we already have too many peripheral squad type players accumulated.

– Campbell, Perez, Asano, Jenko still on the books.

Why risk another?

Is this the new Johnny Evans concocted by same press that usually does not get any predictions right ?

Worse he could be the new Squillaci.


It makes sense really, he is a good player. We need solid experienced back up to a young player, not younger back up. Amn was born to play centrally so there is no use wasting him as rb backup. It’s also worth noting that formations these days are not static. If lichsteiner plays as part of a back three, he is likely going to spend most of his time covering the RB area when we have possession, if he plays RB then it’s fine as it’s his natural position. He is solid in the tackle, incredibly fit, intelligent, an international… Read more »


Seems reasonable


He’s Granit’s national team captain so maybe he’ll give him a kick up the arse


Emery won’t need that. He will kick him up the arse himself.


Where’s the poo metre rating? I don’t see why he would bring in someone that old. The last thing we need is more wear and tear issues to impact us. We already have Koscielny who will likely not be sold bc he is injured so he will be back in frame come December to fulfill as an experienced back up. Meanwhile we have 3 younger players auditioning for likely two spots next to Mustafi. One of them should be sold or go out on strong loan. I think we can find decent priced younger defenders before resorting to the likes… Read more »

Merlin's Panini

Given it’s on the BBC now it’s probably true.

David Hillier's luggage

Makes sense. Hector’s our only right back, we really need experienced cover for him particularly if we’re going to have different line ups in the cups.


A senior defender with a fantastic work rate. Get in!

Surrey gooner

Under the new system can we say it’s Emery’s new signing? Unless of course he’ll be rubber stamping every signing. If not I think Arsenal’s new signing is better. The responsibility of whether he’s a remarkable signing or remarkably bad should rest with those that have made the decision.


BFG version 2.0
slow moving dinosaur well past his usefulness who’s never going to threaten Bellerin and end up sat on the bench for 90% of the season, what a thoroughly disappointing and uninspiring first signing.
Why not see if Flamini is available ffs.


A “slow moving dinosaur” who played 35 times for Seria A winners and Champions League quarter-finalists? On a free, I am more than happy with this.

Paul Pomroy

So different to Per. Different body type, per had an acl injury. I rate this type of signing. Older experienced guys as back up for a year or two to the younger 1st choice. He’ll provide competition and experience to the squad but won’t mind having less starts. Not a CB but. Look at what juve have done with him

Public Elneny

Woo go project youth!


Ha ha


I think that’s the point

Sir Henry Norris's Brown Envelope

This guy looks like he would strangle his grandmother for a clean sheet. I like him, sign him up!

Merlin's Panini

What’s so bad about his grandmother?


Obviously a cover player for RB and maybe CB. adds huge experience and he is a great professional. He may be a tad over the hill, but other top teams have older players. On a free transfer and a short contract, this makes a lot of sense.


You can’t go with a headline like that and it not be Senderos.




Sven’s Swiss Swoop Befuddles Borussia Brass!


Feels like we are trolling Dortmund, and trawling lol. Looks like a good addition, some kind of experience backup for RB that can let us bring through some youth into that spot for the right games.


Unai’s preference for the DM to slot inbetween the central defenders, could well mean Monreal playing LCB. And Sead to play the attacking fullback with Monreal becoming his cover. With Lichensteiner coming in, it is certain that he either does not rate Chambers as a right back (absolutely agree on this), and Chambers is better as a RCB. Or sold to make funds? It also could indicate he feels Niles is more a central DMC who can drop back inbetween the centre backs. Jack and Xhaka have shown time and again their tracking and defensive positioning isn’t good enough to… Read more »


And Niles has the potential to play the ball between the lines to the front three quickly.

Ya gooner

In fairness elneny has also played some good balls through the lines, notably once he started gettting a run of games


Where have the up votes and down votes for the comments gone?
And will they be back?


Blogs is on it.

Gooners & Roses

He is experienced, obviously and perhaps might be useful since Kos is out until dont know when. On the hindsight, might just as well kept Debuchy back then.


Per Wikipedia, his nickname is ‘Forrest Gump’!! What’s there not to like already.

Jimbo jones

With limited funds, I think this is a good move. Shouldn’t take too much out of our budget and gives hector experienced cover. Hopefully, not playing him into the ground may result in him having a better season.


He’s experienced, strong, fast, dribbles well passes well, captain of Russia and he’s free of charge! What’s not to like? COYG


*Swiss captain oops!


Wikki says he’s already an Arsenal player!


Seems like the kind of lad that takes no shit and can actually defend.

I’m sold.


Allegri, who was being touted as the Messiah a few weeks back, thought he was worth 32 games last season so he should be alright.


El Boss knows

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x