Arsenal news: Stephan Lichtsteiner reveals RETIREMENT plans after being benched

ARSENAL defender Stephan Lichtsteiner says he will consider retiring if he feels his standards are slipping.

The Swiss right-back arrived at the Emirates this summer after his contract expired at Juventus.

Hector Bellerin has made the position his own in recent seasons under Arsene Wenger.

While Lichtsteiner has plenty of experience, boss Unai Emery highly values Bellerin’s pace and attacking play.

The 34-year-old says he’s not perturbed by being on the bench but will call it a day if he cannot compete any longer.

“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.

Stephan LichtsteinerGETTY

Arsenal news: Stephan Lichtsteiner has yet to start a game for Arsenal in the Premier League

“If I have to admit that I can not keep the level of the last few years, then it is time.”

Stephan Lichtsteiner

“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 face a trip to Newcastle when the Premier League returns this weekend.

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