Paul Merson questions Arsenal signing ahead of Man City clash
The Arsenal legend is worried about Stephan Lichtsteiner's age following his move from Serie A giants Juventus
Paul Merson has expressed his concerns about Stephan Lichtsteiner’s ability to adapt to the Premier League following his move to Arsenal.
The Switzerland captain completed a free transfer to Arsenal from Serie A giants Juventus in the summer transfer window.
Lichtsteiner has won seven Serie A titles with the Italian giants to arrive at the north London side with a wealth of experience.
The 35-year-old has never played in the Premier League and the veteran defender could struggle with the pace of the English top flight.
Lichsteiner will be tasked with improving Unai Emery’s defence after Arsenal conceded 54 times in 38 games in the Premier League last term.
Former Arsenal playmaker Merson has admitted that he has concerns about Lichsteiner ahead of their Premier League opener against Manchester City.
“They needed a defender,” Merson told Sky Sports.
“Lichtsteiner is 35 and has been a very good player, but how many 35-year-olds are playing at the back in the Premier League? But he’s had to buy experience, we’re not in a position where Arsene Wenger can buy 17 or 18-year-old talent and hope they’re good in five years.
“I think Umai Emery has bought well, but it is going to take time. You have to give this manager time but I think he’ll be alright.”
Arsenal finished in sixth place in the Premier League table last season to miss out on a spot in the Champions League.
The Gunners finished 37 points adrift of defending Premier League champions Manchester City to highlight the widening gap between the two clubs.
Arsenal haven’t won the Premier League title since 2003-04 when Wenger’s side finished the season without losing a game.
The north London side lost 3-0 to Manchester City in the EFL Cup final last term.