Lichtsteiner makes desperate plea for game time at Arsenal

Stephan Lichtsteiner has made a desperate plea for more first-team football at Arsenal, via Neue Zurcher Zeitung.

The Gunners right-back has struggled for minutes under Unai Emery this season, playing just 12 times in the Premier League.

What’s the word?

Lichtsteiner has been absent from Arsenal’s last three matchday squads in the Premier League, failing to make Emery’s selection for games against Bournemouth, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United.

The 35-year-old has more regularly featured in the Europa League, playing in all bar one of the group games, but he was again overlooked for both legs of the last-16 tie against Rennes.

He has now detailed his need to play regularly, insisting that he still hopes to feature for Switzerland at Euro 2020, despite his advanced age.

Asked if he had been offered a new contract – his current deal expires in the summer – he said, per NZZ: “There were talks.¬†We have to see if it suits both sides.¬†Arsenal is a big club, I feel very well.

“But I want to play regularly with regard to the European Championship. It was okay this year.

“But when the coach says that he no longer counts on me, I have to worry.”

Undeserved

Lichtsteiner does not deserve to play regularly for Arsenal.

Not only is he approaching the twilight years of his career, he is demonstrably worse than the likes of Hector Bellerin and Ainsley Maitland-Niles. He certainly does not fit into a back-three system and does not have the pace nor the tactical awareness to play as a wing-back.

That he hopes to play in order to boost his international prospects is perhaps admirable.

But the fact of the matter is that he may have to leave Arsenal to do it; he has given Emery no reason to pick him between now and May.