Arsenal Opinion: Renewing Stephan Lichsteiner’s contract will be a mistake
According to a report recently published by The Sun, Stephan Lichsteiner is in talks with Arsenal over a potential contract renewal that would keep him at the Emirates beyond the end of the current season.
Stephan Lichsteiner is a Swiss international full-back, who was signed by Arsenal on a free transfer earlier in the season from Italian champions Juventus. He was released by the Turin club on account of his age, which hit 35 earlier this term.
Having played professional football for nearly two full decades, it’s obvious that the experience and know-how he possesses will be a massive asset to any team he joins, especially considering the level of teams and players he’s played with.
A youth product of the FC Luzern academy, he was signed by a side from the Swiss City of Zurich. He was later given his first professional contract by Swiss Super League club Grasshoppers back in the summer of 2001.
After 4 years in Switzerland, he was drafted into a Lille side after showing the potential to be a star at a top club right from a young age. He spent 3 years in the Ligue 1 before he moved on to bigger things by joining Lazio in the Serie A.
His contributions were so emphatic that his next transfer was the stuff of legend as he made the switch across Italy to join the famous Old Lady of Turin – Juventus Football Club. He spent 7 illustrious years there before making the switch to North London.
He was a regular in the Juve first team for a long time but with time, his athleticism and pace dropped drastically and he found it hard to compete against younger full-backs.
Since joining Arsenal prior to the start of the season, the 35-year-old has made just 12 league appearances. He is yet to chip in with a goal while his assists column is still blank as well. It’s clear that he’s lost a lot of his pace over the years and lacks a certain edge that’s required to play in the Premier League.
Although he does have the experience and composure to really perform in the big games, his displays this season have been filled with silly individual errors that have cost Unai Emery’s Arsenal side quite dearly.
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Although he has the potential to perform a couple more years, it will be in the Gunners’ best interest for them to let the Swiss defender leave by not extending his contract. Instead, they should look to the transfer market to try and find a replacement.