Stephan Lichtsteiner is alive and well and about to captain his national team once again.
The Swiss defender went missing recently, neither being seen in the matchday squad nor on social media. What happened to the 35-year-old is not clear. He was not reported as injured and no fans seemed to care that he just completely vanished from the last five matchday squads.
But, in case you were wondering if the club had killed him for saying he wanted to extend his current deal with Arsenal beyond the end of this summer, fear not. He is alive and will play with Switzerland over the international break.
Vladimir Petrovic named his 23-man squad ahead of their Euro qualifiers against Georgia and Denmark and Lichtsteiner – along with Granit Xhaka – has been named in the squad.
Xhaka was named Swiss captain back in October but admitted at the time it was only a temporary move until the older statesman was back in the squad.
“I have now worn the armband twice in a row. As soon as Steff is back, I’ll give him the armband he deserves,” the 26-year-old confirmed.
When Stephan Lichttsteiner was signed on a free transfer from Juventus in the summer, it seemed like a decent move. Here was a player who could bring a wealth of experience to the club and if he was still playing for Juventus up until last year, he couldn’t be that bad, right?
He has been awful and his career at Arsenal so far has been a series of mistakes and incompetence. Against Manchester City most Arsenal fans would have preferred to see Carl Jenkinson start, such iss their low opinion of Lichtsteiner.
Their instincts were right aead of that game as all three of City’s goals came down his side, prompting the mild-mannered Alex Scott to tear into him.
So, it’s somewhat alarming to hear that he is angling for a stay at the club.
Speaking to the media in his home country at the start of February, Lichtsteiner was asked how long his English adventure was likely to last. “If it suits both sides, I’ll stay here. Otherwise, the journey continues,” he said.
“I have always set great goals. A season in a Swiss football club at the end of my career is out of the question for me.”
He also explained why he signed for Arsenal in the first place. “I wanted to know it again and show that I can also assert myself in London,” said Lichtsteiner.
“Arsenal have not won titles for years. Now, those in charge want to rebuild a structure that will bring years of success to the club.”
They won’t be winning another anytime soon with him in their backline, that’s for sure.