Why Arsenal Should Go Bold to Sign Juventus Star Stephan Lichtsteiner
Stephan Lichtsteiner divides opinion, but not because of his talent. It's impossible not to admire his physical, energetic style and his athleticism.
The committed, high-speed runs he makes tirelessly up and down the flanks and the way he never shies away from a challenge have earned him a reputation as one of the world's top right backs.
He does, however, have a nasty side. The Swiss is known as the antagonistic sort, always looking to gain an advantage by whatever means possible.
He has few fans in Glasgow after his performance against Celtic last year in the Champions League, or in the Italian capital, where the fans of his former club Lazio whistled and jeered him off the pitch in the recent Supercoppa Italiana.
The giallorosso side of Rome isn't fond of Lichtsteiner either, not only thanks to the years he spent as a Laziale, but also because of a childish row he had with Roma's Erik Lamela last season, which led to a three-match suspension for the Argentine. Lamela was ultimately to blame, but only because he should have known better than to react to the Swiss defender's petty insults.
Unlikely, then, to see Stephan among the medals at any popularity contents. But that won't bother him too much—he's got plenty from his footballing exploits.
Since moving to Turin in 2011, the Swiss has become integral to the Bianconeri's strong defence.
He's also an important part of their attack, because it's often one of his lunge-busting surges up the flank that starts off the Old Lady's counter attacks.
A winner of the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italia with Lazio, he's gone on to win two league titles and another two Supercoppa medals with Juve.
Put simply, Lichtsteiner's a winner. Which is exactly what Arsenal need right now.
The Gunners were abysmal in their opening fixture at home to Aston Villa, the 1-3 loss compounding the misery of an injury crisis that's hit key figures like Thomas Vermealen, Mikel Arteta and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Does Wenger need to reinforce his defence?
Arsene Wenger's defence is chronically thin, too. Should anything happen to Bacary Sagna—who, in any case, is short on pace and often leaves the centre-backs exposed—the manager would be left with Carl Jenkinson, a 21-year-old who's still not ready for the starting XI.
Arsenal are in dire straits. The Londoners not only require reinforcements, but also leading figures who can cope with pressure and take control of the game in a moment of crisis.
Wenger desperately needs a winning mentality in the dressing room, someone who can get the job done—clean or dirty. He needs players he can rely on to perform, footballers who won't inexplicably switch off or put in a sub-par performance when it matters most.
The Juventus defender is all of those things. One player can't completely change a club's prospects, but when it's a footballer like Lichtsteiner, at least you know he'll do his very best to try.
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