We were all expecting something to happen at Arsenal today. The noise was positive around Sokratis being on the verge of being named Unai Emery’s first signing at Arsenal.
In a Sol Campbell-esque moment – when we were all expecting Richard Wright to be announced and out got Sol Campbell from the car – former Juventus right back Stephan Lichtsteiner has gazumped Sokratis to become a quiz question answer.
But firstly the sad news. Santi Cazorla has officially left the club.
The former Gunners midfielder is set to spend pre-season with his former club Villarreal, with a view to earning a permanent contract.
The diminutive Spaniard always played with a smile on his face. A smile which has not been seen on a football pitch since November 2015.
I still maintain that had he not picked up that injury against Norwich, Arsenal would have had that little bit extra to beat Leicester City to the title.
At the time of his injury, Cazorla was an over present in the Arsenal team, with analysis showing him to be the league’s busiest and most accurate passer.
Arsenal reportedly offered him a coaching role at Arsenal, but he clearly feels that he has another year or two left.
With Villarreal in the Europa League, there is a chance we might see him again.
When someone dies, someone is born. And the sadness of Cazorla leaving is balanced out with Lichtsteiner joining Arsenal from Juventus.
The Swiss international defender signs as a free agent from the Serie A club, where he won the title in each of his seven seasons.
A hugely-experienced right-sided defender, Stephan made over 250 appearances for Juventus and is the fourth-most capped player in Switzerland history with 99 appearances for his country. He has also been the Swiss captain since 2016.
Head coach Unai Emery said: “Stephan brings huge experience and leadership to our squad. He’s a player with great quality with a very positive and determined attitude. Stephan will improve us on and off the pitch.”
Stephan, 34, started his senior career in 2001 with Swiss club Grasshopper Zurich, where he won the league title in 2003. He played in France with Lille for three years before moving to Lazio in Italy in 2008, where he won the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana before moving to Juventus in 2011.
He will wear the number 12 shit, and provide cover and competition for Hector Bellerin.