Arsenal stalwart Stephan Lichtsteiner has seemingly announced that he will leave the club this summer, just a year after joining the Gunners.
The 35-year-old was limited to just 23 appearances this past season, despite hopes that his experience and ability to offer quality depth would be a key benefit for Arsenal.
Having only signed a one-year deal, it appears as though the veteran will be moving on to another challenge next season, as he has taken to Instagram to bid farewell to Arsenal fans in a classy statement, as seen below.
Ultimately, Arsenal didn’t achieve their objectives this year, as they fell short in the race for a top four finish in the Premier League while suffering defeat in the Europa League final to Chelsea.
In turn, they’ll be absent from the Champions League for a third consecutive year, and that will be a huge blow for them on and off the pitch.
With that in mind, cuts to the squad will perhaps be needed in order to give Unai Emery flexibility in the transfer market to bring in reinforcements, and with Lichtsteiner seemingly limited to a mere back-up role, especially when Hector Bellerin returns from injury next season, it’s arguably a sensible decision for all concerned to part ways.
An official announcement has yet to be made by Arsenal, but based on his statement below coupled with the fact that his contract is set to expire at the end of the month, it seems as though Lichtsteiner has confirmed his future plans, as noted by the Evening Standard.
View this post on Instagram
Dear Gunners We were close to add an important chapter to this amazing club’s history. But to be close … is unfortunately not good enough. This is hard to accept. I’m very disappointed. It was our objective to bring Arsenal back on the highest international level and to win trophies. Both belong to this great club. I wish my teammates, my coach and his staff, all hard-working employees and all Gunner fans simply the best! I’m confident our team can complete our mission next season! I loved to be a part of this club. It was a great challenge and experience without a happy end, unfortunately. Thank you very much for your overwhelming support! It was much appreciated! See you Stephan #COYG #WeAreTheArsenal #YaGunnersYa #ThankYou