Arsenal star Stephan Lichtsteiner has admitted he is unlikely to be at the club next season. The 35-year-old right-back started 19 games following a free transfer from Juventus that raised eyebrows in some quarters last summer.
He was given a one-year deal with an option of a further year but it appears he is set to depart after the Europa League final against Chelsea at the end of the month. “I see it being quite difficult to stay but we are going to see what happens,” he is quoted as saying by the Evening Standard.
“I don’t know anything. The only important thing is the Europa League final now. “I really want to win this cup and bring this club back to the top level, back to the Champions League and winning important titles.”
Lichtsteiner had a solid Serie A career with Lazio and then Juve and was recruited largely as back-up for right-back Hector Bellerin. But the emergence of Ainsley Maitland-Niles as a player who can fill in as a wing-back or right-sided defender means Lichtsteiner is set to be squeezed out.
He does, however, wants to leave on a high after the disappointment of Arsenal missing out on the Premier League’s top four. The Gunners can qualify for the Champions League by beating Chelsea and winning the Europa League in Baku on May 29 and Lichtsteiner added: “It is hard. Five weeks ago, we were in the perfect situation.
“We gave too many easy points in our away games. We were also a little bit unlucky but we have to ask more from ourselves. “At the end, of course, with so many games and the Europa League and everything, we lost a bit of energy in the last games.”
Meanwhile, Playmaker Mesut Ozil has dismissed any suggestions that he could leave Arsenal in the summer. The German is the club’s highest earner – on a reported £350,000-a-week – and has had a tricky time in Unai Emery’s first season as Arsenal boss.
There have been suggestions that he could leave the Gunners in the summer after being left out of some matches – but the former Real Madrid man doubts that will happen. “I don’t think there’s a chance of that to be honest,” Ozil told DAZN Dach .
“I’ve got two more years here and what happens afterwards is not in my hands. We’ll see then, but I’m proud to be at this club and really happy at this club.” Ozil added: “If the coach speaks to me and tells me I won’t play in a game it’s something I need to accept and just get on with it.
“I’ve carried on working on making myself as fit and healthy as I could and it’s worked out for me. Now I’m playing, but of course it’s the coach’s decision if I play or not. “I’ve had some injuries this season and I’ve had to miss some games. But I know when I’m fit I’ll play matches.
“I know the quality I have. I think everyone has their qualities and mine are at No.10. “If the coach wants me to do something and play somewhere else, you have to accept it and do that. That’s something I’ve done and as a player and you just need to get on with what you’re told.”