Arsenal has announced the signing of the Switzerland international Stephan Lichtsteiner on a free transfer from Juventus.

The Swiss full-back was out of contract with the Serie A champions and joins the Gunners ahead of captaining Switzerland at the World Cup. Lichsteiner, who becomes Unai Emery’s first signing at the club, won the domestic title in each of his 7 seasons at Juve and made 27 Serie A appearances in the campaign that has just finished despite the arrival of Mattia De Sciglio from Milan.

In a statement on his official Twitter page, Lichtsteiner said: β€œHappy and honored to be a Gunner! Will work hard and passionately day in and day out to achieve our sportive objectives and to win trophies with this great club! ”

The 34-year old has made over 250 appearances for Juventus and is closing in on a century of caps for Switzerland, appearing at two European Championships and two World Cups.Β He has won 7 Serie A titles, 4 Coppa Italias and 3 Italian Super Cups at Juventus after joining the club from Lazio in 2011. Lichsteiner becomes the first signing since Unai Emery’s appointment as head coach and will wear the number 12 shirt.

Lichtsteiner told his new club’s official website: β€œIt is a great moment for me, after Juventus, to come to Arsenal. It is a project to come back into the Champions League, it is hard to see a club like Arsenal that is not playing in the Champions League if you see the players, the club, the stadium. The big objective is to come back on the highest level.”

The veteran has reportedly signed a one-year contract, with an option to extend for the new club. He will be a major part of the reconstruction of Arsenal’s criticized defence. Lichsteiner will bring the much-needed experience at the back for the Gunners. He is bound toΒ provide a healthy competition for the right-back position with HectorΒ BellerinΒ which would, in turn, generate a similar Monreal-Kolasinac model at the left-back position for Arsenal.

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

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