Stephan Lichtsteiner dismisses retirement suggestions and vows to compete with Hector Bellerin for place in Arsenal’s first team

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Stephan Lichtsteiner dismisses retirement suggestions and vows to compete with Hector Bellerin for place in Arsenal’s first team


NO WAY!

The Switzerland international has yet to start a game for his new club despite arriving from Juventus in the summer

Arsenal defender Stephan Lichtsteiner has rubbished suggestions he’s considering retirement from the game.

The 34-year-old arrived at the Emirates Stadium from Juventus on a free transfer this summer but is yet to start a game under Unai Emery.

Lichtsteniner has been on the bench for all of Arsenal’s game this season

Lichtsteniner has been on the bench for all of Arsenal’s game this season

Hector Bellerin is the first choice right-back at Arsenal with Lichtsteiner only making a substitute’s appearance against Manchester City in the opening weekend as a Gunners player.

There were suggestions Lichtsteiner could announce a shock retirement but the Switzerland international dismissed this idea, claiming he has the “physicality of a 28-year-old”.

“I could have changed to five other clubs in the summer, knowing that I would certainly play 47 out of 50 serious matches,” Lichtsteiner told Swiss publication Sportal.

“It doesn’t irritate me, as in 2011, when I moved to Juventus, I wanted to join a big club. I was looking for a demanding challenge in a new league.

Bellerin is the Gunners’ first choice right back but has struggled for form this season

Bellerin is the Gunners’ first choice right back but has struggled for form this season

“That’s why I knew from the very beginning at Arsenal that I had to fight for the regular spot against Hector Bellerin. For me, stepping down has never been up for debate.

“If I have to admit that I can not keep the level of the last few years, then it is time.

“But then I will not only resign from the Swiss national team, but finish my career. Based purely on performance data I have the physicality of a 28-year-old.

“It is quite unusual for me to be a substitute. Three games in a row [on the bench], that’s never happened to me.

“If you have achieved a lot in your career, you have high expectations of yourself and want to play. But I also know that I will get the chance to play games.”





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