Stephan Lichtsteiner says he has begun talks with Arsenal over a contract extension, but he doesn’t want to stay if he’s not going to play regularly.
Speaking to Swiss outlet Blick, Lichtsteiner answered questions about his future with the national team and Arsenal. At 35 years old, with his initial Gunners deal coming to an end this summer, it’s certainly not guaranteed that the right-back will still be playing his football at the Emirates Stadium next season.
The former Juventus man revealed: “A conversation has taken place (over an extension). You know that I will not reveal details now. But it has to be right for both sides. What’s more important: to stay at Arsenal for another year or to play a major role in the European Championship? It would be important for me to play regularly.
“That went pretty well this season. But if it seems that the coach has other priorities, then I have to ask myself the question: Do I still want to do that in terms of the European Championship? I take it as it comes. I am in a good position.”
As Lichtsteiner says, he’s had a decent amount of game time this season. With 21 appearances in all competitions (17 starts), he’s taken advantage of Hector Bellerin’s injury problems to play pretty regularly.
Unfortunately, the full back is yet to convince the Arsenal fans that he deserves another year on the wage bill. After a number of poor performances early on in the season, he only recently found some good form, only to fall injured immediately afterwards.
Currently, it seems Ainsley Maitland-Niles is preferred over the Swiss international, and Bellerin probably will be too when he returns. If that does end up forcing him out of the club this summer, let’s hope he can leave on a high with some positive performances to help Arsenal achieve their goals in the coming months.