Stephan Lichtsteiner insists he has no plans to wind down his career any time soon amid surprise claims he is considering calling time on his career.
The veteran defender moved to Arsenal from Juventus this summer on a free transfer, but is yet to start a Premier League game for the Gunners and seems to be some distance behind Hector Bellerin in Unai Emery’s pecking order.
As such, reports in his native Switzerland have suggested the 34-year-old could be ready to announce his shock retirement – but the former seven-times Serie A winner insists he remains undaunted by the task of trying to dislodge Bellerin and has quickly denied the claims he could call it quits.
“I could have changed to five other clubs in the summer, knowing that I would certainly play 47 out of 50 serious matches,” Lichtsteiner told Swiss publication Sportal.
“It doesn’t irritate me, as in 2011, when I moved to Juventus, I wanted to join a big club. I was looking for a demanding challenge in a new league.
“That’s why I knew from the very beginning at Arsenal that I had to fight for the regular spot against Hector Bellerin.
“For me, stepping down has never been up for debate.
“If I have to admit that I can not keep the level of the last few years, then it is time.
“But then I will not only resign from the Swiss national team, but finish my career. Based purely on performance data I have the physicality of a 28-year-old.
“It is quite unusual for me to be a substitute. Three games in a row [on the bench], that’s never happened to me.
“If you have achieved a lot in your career, you have high expectations of yourself and want to play. But I also know that I will get the chance to play games.”
Arsenal legend Tony Adams, however, believes the Swiss could play an important role for Arsenal this season and has called on Emery to give him his chance.
“Lichtsteiner looks like a leader and a really strong full-back. He is 34, so he’s not one for the future,” Adams recently said.
“Bellerin is the one to wait and watch Lichtsteiner.
“Tell him to watch him and learn what to do.”