Stephan Lichtsteiner reveals why he should play ahead of Bellerin

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Stephan Lichtsteiner has claimed he has the physicality of a player six years younger than him.

The Arsenal right-back, 34, has played nearly 600 games at club level as well as winning 103 caps for the Swiss national side.

Unai Emery opted to make Lichtsteiner the first signing of his Arsenal tenure because of the veteran experience he could bring to the squad but the defender believes he can be a far more youthful presence on the pitch.

Asked whether he would consider retiring from international football by Swiss media Lichtsteiner insisted: “If I have to admit that I cannot keep the level of the last few years, then it is time.

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

Lichtsteiner has been unable to show his exuberance to any great extent on the pitch so far this season, where his only appearance came as a replacement for the injured Ainsley Maitland-Niles in the 2-0 defeat to Manchester City on the opening weekend.

The limited role he has been afforded did not come as a surprise to Lichtsteiner, who was signed on a free transfer from Juventus to provide Hector Bellerin with mentorship and competition.

 “I could have changed to five other clubs in the summer, knowing that I would certainly play 47 out of 50 serious matches,” he said.

“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.

“That’s why I knew from the very beginning at Arsenal that I had to fight for the regular spot against Hector Bellerin.”


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