Transfer Window Summer 2019: The Free Agents XI
Written by: Waseem Zaidi
There are several top players on the market who will potentially be free agents at the end of the season.
It is that time of the year when curtains are drawn on football action and the headlines are hogged by the contractual talks. In today’s inflated market where even young upcoming talents cost in the region of £30-£40 million, there are still some proven players, one can sign at no cost. These are the soon to be out-of-contract players who will be available at no transfer fees whatsoever.
Considering the talents that will be at the disposal free of cost, there are some absolute steals up for grabs. We have compiled eleven of the best players out of that lot.
Michel Vorm (Tottenham Hotspur FC)
Michel Vorm came into the limelight after decent performances for Swansea City, helping them win the League Cup in 2013, and went on to sign for Tottenham Hotspur the following year for a fee in the region of £3.5 million. Playing mostly as backup to Hugo Lloris, the 35-year-old has always looked secure between the sticks. His shot-stopping skills easily make him a good option for clubs looking for an experienced, reliable and a senior figure for free as his contract runs out at the end of the current season with the London-based club.
Right Back - Antonio Valencia (Manchester United)
Departing after 10 years, Manchester United winger turned full-back will be a free agent once his contract with his current runs out at the end of the campaign. The 33-year-old has the tendency and skills of an attacking full-back and is a tireless worker.
The Ecuadorian has been the pivot on the right wing for United and now will be available for free. Rumours have suggested a switch to MLS might be on the cards for the full-back.
Vincent Kompany (Manchester City)
It will be fair to say that Vincent Kompany is a club legend at Manchester City and has been a tremendous part of their rise to being a giant of a club they are today. However, the club captain is heading towards the last stages of his contract and renewal is not on the table.
With younger options like Aymeric Laporte, John Stones and Nicolas Otamendi at their disposal, Cityzens might be looking towards building the future. The 33-year-old centre-back has still a lot to give, and a free transfer for him would be a steal in today's market.
Diego Godin (Atletico Madrid)
An emotional Diego Godin recently announced that he will be leaving Atletico Madrid at the end of the current season after spending nine years at the club, making 365 appearances and becoming the foreign player with most appearances in the process.
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The 33-year-old still has a couple of years of football at least left in him, comes with invaluable experience of playing at the top level on a consistent basis, and his ability to read the game further makes him a very ideal option for clubs trying to bolster their defences on a budget.
Left Back - Matteo Darmian (Manchester United)
Matteo Darmian came to the Premier League with a lot of promise but never got a consistent run of opportunities to make a name for himself at Manchester United. Since the Red Devils are aiming to revamp their squad, the Italian could be one of the many names leaving the club at the end of the season.
The 29-year-old will stay until the end of the season and there are no signs of a new deal on the horizon. The Italian has the ability to play on either wings and can also shift in the centre-back position when required. His versatility makes him a good prospect for a free transfer and a return to Italy is in the offing, according to reports.
Adrien Rabiot (Paris Saint-Germain)
Fate of Adrien Rabiot seems to be sealed at Paris Saint-Germain, after it was reported that the French club will not be offering the midfielder a new contract at the end of the term. The 24-year-old central midfielder is known for his passing capabilities and a vision to match.
Many elite clubs from across Europe are said to be interested in the soon to be out-of-contract Frenchman. The likes of Manchester United, Bayern Munich and Arsenal have come out as likely destinations for the playmaker.
Ander Herrera (Manchester United)
Ander Herrera will leave Manchester United by the end of June 2019 and the contractual negotiations with United have reached an impasse. The club is not ready to match the wage demands of the Spaniard, who in turn is not willing to settle for less.
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The 29-year-old is heavily linked with Paris Saint-Germain. A tenacious midfielder is a fantastic option, especially on a free transfer.
Right Midfielder - Juan Mata (Manchester United)
Yet another Manchester United player who could be at the receiving end of a squad clear-out in the summer is Juan Mata, who is also reaching the end of his contract with the Premier League club where he has spent five years now.
The 31-year-old recently expressed his desire to play for FC Barcelona, and remains a good option on a free transfer due to his ingenuity with the ball. Where he lacks for pace, he makes up with pinpoint distribution and penetrating through balls. Several Spanish clubs are reportedly lining to place a bid for the former Chelsea player.
Left Midfielder - Hatem Ben Arfa (Rennes)
Hailed as “one of the best talents in France’ a few years ago, Hatem Ben Arfa has seen several ups and downs in his career. Despite being exceptionally skilfull and a fantastic dribbler of the ball, instances of indiscipline has marred his career. The 32-year-old is soon to be out-of-contract at Rennes, and there are no signs of a new deal despite winning the Coupe de France, beating his former club PSG in the final. The Frenchman is a popular choice for a free transfer given he sustains his composure on the field.
Mario Balotelli (Olympique de Marseille)
While Mario Balotelli is one of the most controversial figures around, he is also one of the most lethal strikers in football. The Italian rekindled his career and joined Olympique de Marseille in January 2019 after two impressive campaigns with Nice. The forward has since scored eight times in 12 matches for the Ligue 1 side, but apparently a contract extension is not on the cards. The 28-year-old will be available on a free transfer in the upcoming transfer window and expectedly, a large amount of clubs will surely be lining up to land the striker.
The Italian has already played for seven clubs across three countries
Daniel Sturridge (Chelsea FC)
A lot has happened since Daniel Sturridge used to play week-in-week-out for Liverpool. He was an asset along with Luis Suarez and Raheem Sterling in their Premier League heroic run in 2013-14. Since then, the injury-prone player has been on the sidelines with having already served a loan stint at Wes Brom last season.
The former Chelsea player is now reduced as a back-up to the trinity of Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
Other Notable Mentions
There are several other players that are not included in the above lineup, but are good as anyone on their day and a free transfer for the following players in the summer would prove to be some shrewd business, considering the quality for the taking. Here are the other notable free agents that will also be available for free in the upcoming summer window :
Published: Tue May 14, 2019 11:39 AM IST