Stephan Lichtsteiner: Arsenal to sign defender from Juventus

Stephan Lichtsteiner meets ex-Arsenal player Robert Pires at the club's training ground
Stephan Lichtsteiner (right) met ex-Arsenal player Robert Pires at the club's training ground

Arsenal are set to sign defender Stephan Lichtsteiner from Italian champions Juventus on a free transfer.

The right-back, 34, spent seven years at Juventus, making 257 appearances and winning Serie A seven times in a row.

Lichtsteiner, who captains Switzerland, will become manager Unai Emery's first signing since succeeding Arsene Wenger.

"Stephan brings huge experience and leadership to us. He's a player with great quality with a very positive and determined attitude," said Emery.

"Stephan will improve us on and off the pitch."

Lichtsteiner's Champions League challenge

Stephan Lichtsteiner in action for Switzerland
Stephan Lichtsteiner (left) is part of Switzerland's World Cup squad

Lichtsteiner said moving to Arsenal represented a "challenge" and that he was "really positive" the club would "do great things" under Spaniard Emery.

The Gunners will play in the Europa League this season having missed out on a place in the Champions League as a result of their sixth-place finish in the Premier League.

It is the second successive year they will not feature in Europe's elite competition, and before 2016-17 they had last missed out in the 1997-98 season.

Lichtsteiner said: "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."

Lichtsteiner has played 99 times for his country and is part of their squad for the World Cup, which begins on 14 June in Russia.

He will complete his move to Emirates Stadium when Arsenal conclude the regulatory process required.

Having started his career at Grasshopper Zurich, Lichtsteiner moved to Lille in 2005. He then joined Lazio in 2008 and spent three seasons with the Rome club, winning the Coppa Italia in 2009.

He moved to Juventus in 2011 and, in addition to his seven league titles, won the Coppa Italia a further four times.

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