Three years ago today, 5 June, Unai Emery’s first signing was announced and it was a harbinger of things to come.

Stephan Lichtsteiner training to be a watchmaker
Stephan Lichtsteiner training to be a watchmaker

It seems like longer since Unai Emery was at Arsenal, buying players, although his first arrived on a free from Juventus – Stephan Lichtsteiner.

Lichtsteiner, who is now retraining as a watchmaker, was a player Arsenal had been linked with many times over the years but it was Unai Emery who finally brought him to Arsenal.

The defender was 34 at the time, although he played more like he was 43 and, after one season, he was not offered an extension to his deal.

In his prime, Lichtsteiner was a superb player but those days had long since passed, so as we picked up a player who could no longer do it at the top level, the Old Lady picked up Aaron Ramsey for the same price – nothing.

Lichtsteiner spent seven years with Juventus, after three with Napoli, making 257 appearances for Juve, winning 14 trophies. He made 23 appearances for Arsenal.

“Stephan brings huge experience and leadership to our squad,” Unai Emery said of the signing. “He’s a player with great quality with a very positive and determined attitude. Stephan will improve us on and off the pitch.”

He did not.

Other Arsenal deals that happened on 5 June

  • 5 June 1903: Fred Dwight signed for Arsenal.
  • 5 June 1991: Kwame Ampadu sold to WBA.
  • 5 June 2013 It was announced that Arsenal’s record signing, Andrey Arshavin, would be released on 30 June 2013.