Stephan Lichtsteiner admits he could head through the Arsenal exit door
Arsenal defender Stephan Lichtsteiner has admitted that he could head through the club’s exit door this summer. The Switzerland international has just one month remaining on his existing deal with the Gunners and he appears disinterested over an extension amid the reduced gametime over the course of his debut campaign with the club.
Speaking to Evening Standard, Lichtsteiner acknowledged that he cannot assure his stay at the north London club next term, considering the proceedings during the backend of the season, he said: “I see it being quite difficult to stay but we are going to see what happens. I don’t know anything. The only important thing is the Europa League Final now. I really want to win this cup and bring this club back to the top level, back to the Champions League and winning important titles.”
Lichtsteiner was Unai Emery’s first signing under manager Unai Emery last summer and he was touted to provide competition to Hector Bellerin on the right side of the defence. However, it was quite clear that he was struggling to cope with the demands of the Premier League and that meant that Ainsley Maitland-Niles was rewarded with the regular role after Bellerin’s mid-season injury.
The former Juventus man has managed 19 starts over the course of the current season but out of those, only two have come from the past two months. Considering this, Lichtsteiner seems to have made the mind up to pursue a fresh challenge elsewhere and that could pose a concern for Emery ahead of the forthcoming campaign.
Arsenal are expected to be without Bellerin for the opening month of the Premier League season through a knee problem and that could potentially leave them with Maitland-Niles as the sole option for the right-back/ right wing-back role. Similar to Lichtsteiner, Carl Jenkinson has been touted to leave the club when his contract expires at the end of the season.