While this summer’s transfer
stupidity insanity season probably won’t really catch fire until after the World Cup, there’s a few things here and there that tend to catch the eye and grab the headlines even in the runup to that fine tournament. Today brings one such rumor, a small one, but still something. Take it away, Rolling Stones drummer turned journalist:
Arsenal confident of signing Stephan Lichtsteiner on a free transfer. No deal yet, but talks progressed well today at London Colney. Seen as someone who will provide real experience to the squad and help take the burden off Bellerin. Further talks to come, but looking positive.— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) May 25, 2018
Okay well maybe it’s not that Charlie Watts. Anyway, multiple sources are today reporting that Arsenal are in talks with Lichtsteiner over a free move to London. The 34 year old is out of contract at Juventus and has already declared his desire to move abroad, and Arsenal is certainly “abroad” in that respect.
Why Arsenal would want to bring on a 34 year old right back is kind of beyond me, but he’s free, so that’s a thing. As the tweet mentions, it could take a little of the work off Hector Bellerin’s shoulders, but in all honesty, and while knowing nothing of Lichtsteiner’s remaining ability, I’m not sure that a close-to-being-done player is something Arsenal should be pursuing all that hard.
I mean, if his wage demands are small, I could maybe see it as depth, but hopefully Arsenal aren’t counting on Lichtsteiner to play significant minutes, because that...doesn’t seem too clever? It seems like if the desire is to have cover/depth for Bellerin, maybe bring up a kid from the youth ranks and don’t pay him 34 year old accomplished veteran wages?
This isn’t really a hill I want to die on, but this doesn’t seem like the savviest acquisition in the world, free or otherwise, unless it’s purely a depth move. But, I will keep an open mind and assume that the acquisitions team knows way more about these things than I do.
UPDATE: Looks like Ornstein hath spoken, so this is probably going to be a Thing.
Arsenal are working on a deal to sign Switzerland right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner on a free transfer when the 34-year-old’s Juventus contract expires this summer. Lichtsteiner a long-term target who #AFC see adding experience/leadership to head coach Unai Emery’s squad #Juve #SUI— David Ornstein (@bbcsport_david) May 25, 2018