Arsenal have completed the first signing of Unai Emery’s tenure with the acquisition of Juventus full-back Stephan Lichtsteiner.
The Switzerland international ended his time with Juventus having secured a seventh Serie A title in 2017-18, with Massimiliano Allegri’s squad pipping Napoli to the Scudetto in the closing weeks.
Lichtsteiner was a champion of Italy in all seven of his seasons in Turin, making over 250 appearances for the Bianconeri.
He will add valuable experience to Emery’s squad for the 2018-19 Premier League season, although his arrival puts Hector Bellerin’s future at Emirates Stadium in doubt.
“Stephan brings huge experience and leadership to our squad,” Emery told Arsenal’s official website.
“He’s a player with great quality with a very positive and determined attitude. Stephan will improve us on and off the pitch.”
Lichtsteiner – the Switzerland captain – will represent his country at the World Cup in Russia before moving to London on a free transfer.
The 34-year-old is relishing the chance to improve the Gunners’ fortunes after they missed out on a top-four finish in Arsene Wenger’s final season in charge.
“It’s a great moment for me after Juventus to come to Arsenal, I have this big challenge to try to make big things with this big club,” Lichtsteiner told Arsenal player.
“There is a project, a project to get back into the Champions League, it’s hard to see a club like Arsenal not playing in the Champions League if you see the players, the club and the stadium, so it’s the big objective to get back to the highest level.
“[Emery is a] very good coach, won a lot of titles, a coach who knows what he wants, a coach who progresses the players – even old players like me! This is very important, I am really positive that we will do great things.”
Happy and honoured to be a Gunner! Will work hard and passionately day in and day out to achieve our sportive objectives and to win trophies with this great club!