Unai Emery brought in various big names ahead of his first campaign as Arsenal manager.
Upon arriving at a club, you must put your own stamp on it. That can be through coaching the players at your disposal or bringing in new faces, either young players to be coached into this philosophy or older players that already understand it to an extent.
Emery has done exactly that. He brought in two youngsters in Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira, and three older players, by varying amounts in Bernd Leno, although he is by no means old, Sokratis and Stephan Lichtsteiner.
One of those moves has not so much gone to plan. Lichtsteiner was brought in from Juventus, having spent seven years in Turin, as back-up for Hector Bellerin at right-back.
The move made sense on paper, but unfortunately for Arsenal, at 34, Lichtsteiner just does not seem up to the intensity of the Premier League.
He has featured at right-wing back and right centre-back as well when Emery uses a back-five, but he is often found out positionally as when he pushes too far up, he does not have the legs he once had to get back into position, especially in such a demanding League.
The Swiss international’s contract runs out at the end of the season, but with Arsenal only able to make loan deals due to a lack of finances this January, moving Lichtsteiner on now could free up some space on the wage bill.
Emery currently has three right-backs at his disposal and a versatile Ainsley Maitland-Niles, with Carl Jenkinson proving against Blackpool that he could be adequate cover for Bellerin as despite playing against limited opposition, he has been rather impressive this season.
Whether Emery chooses to keep Lichtsteiner for the last six months of his contract or moves him on is yet to be seen, but he undoubtedly still has a lot to give for a club, just possibly not at this high of an intensity in the Premier League.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!