Stephan Lichtsteiner has officially become Unai Emery‘s first Arsenal signing. The veteran Swiss full-back joins on a free from former club Juventus and will provide cover for Hector Bellerin. Fans will also hope he can become a mentor to the younger players, much like Per Mertesacker did this past season.
Lichtsteiner Joins, Sokratis is Close
Our newest defender spoke to the Arsenal media staff upon joining the club today. All quotes taken from Arsenal.com,
Question: How Does Joining Arsenal Feel?
“It’s a great moment. It’s great for me after Juventus to come to Arsenal and have this big challenge to make big things [happen] with this big club.”
Question: What Attracted you to Arsenal?
“There is a project. There is a project to come back into the Champions League. I think it’s hard to see a club like Arsenal not playing in the Champions League. If you see the players, if you see the club, the stadium… it’s the project, the big opportunity to get back to the highest level.”
Question: What Arsenal Memories do you Have?
“I’ve never played against Arsenal, but of course there was the big era of Wenger. He won a lot of titles with Arsenal and [made them] a big team. Now it’s a new moment. Wenger went and now everything is a bit new, so it’s a big challenge.”
Question: What do you Think of Unai Emery?
“He’s a very good coach who’s won a lot of titles, especially the Europa League that we play in this year. He’s a coach who knows what he wants and a coach who also progresses the players, and also old players like me. You never stop learning and this is very important. I’m really positive that we will do great things.”
Question: What is your Playing Style?
“My playing style? I’m a right back who likes to attack but I also know when it’s time to attack and when you need to stay behind. I have to put a balance between defence and attack.”
Question: How Will Your Experience Help the Team?
“I hope I can bring a lot of that mentality. It’s a little bit of the same project that I did seven years ago with Juventus. Juventus also, for two times, didn’t qualify for the Champions League. I hope I can bring a lot of experience, a lot of mentality and together, with my team, come back to the highest level of the Champions League.”
Question: Being the Swiss Captain, How Will your Leadership Help?
“At the end it’s not too important to speak too much. The important thing is what you do on the pitch, that you are an example for the young players, for the old players, that everybody knows that this guy will help us. Like me also, I need to know that everybody helps me. This is the team spirit that we need to have, to have the confidence to give each other to help us.”
I’ll figure out how to spell his last name one day, but not until the deal is official! The Borussia Dortmund defender is on the verge of joining Arsenal, according to his father.
He appeared on Greek radio recently, claiming that his son will join Arsenal, with the deal to be announced imminently.
With Laurent Koscielny out until at least December, plus Shkodran Mustafi looking like a lost child at times, another central defender won’t go amiss. The reported transfer fee is somewhere in the region of £16 million.
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