Premier League free agent XI featuring Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham stars
With the footballing world currently in limbo, the upcoming transfer window could be unlike anything we have seen before.
Clubs have suffered amidst the suspension of football, with revenue streams heavily hit. With less cash to spend, teams will have to rely on swap deals and free transfer to shore up their squads.
We take a look at a Premier League XI comprised entirely of free agents.
Ben Foster (Watford)
At 37, Ben Foster is the James Milner of goalkeepers. The Englishman seems to age like fine wine and is still going strong for a Watford side fighting against relegation.
The undisputable number one at Vicarage Road, Foster has kept his spot in spite of the transfer merry go round at Watford in recent seasons.
To put things into context, the Hornets number one has the same number of shut outs as Manchester City’s Ederson and one more than Spanish ace David de Gea.
The former Manchester United star may not be a glamorous name but he is certainly an effective one. The former United star will make an excellent backup for a top-flight side. In spite of his advanced age, he looks to have a couple of seasons left in him.
Leighton Baines (Everton)
Another player who is on the wrong side of the 30s, Baines is a seasoned performer who brings a wealth of experience to the side.
A solid defender with excellent positioning, the 35-year old is also a deft hand at set-pieces. Although he does not have the physicality to run up and down the pitch as a modern fullback does, he more than makes up for it with his excellent distribution and crossing ability.
Nominated for the PFA Team of the Year two times, he has enjoyed a successful if not an unspectacular career at Goodison Park. Baines holds the distinction of being the first defender to record 50 assists in the Premier League.
Jan Vertonghen (Tottenham Hotspur)
The celebrated Belgian has been a cornerstone of Tottenham’s rise in the last decade. After eight successful years in North London, he looks to be on his way out this summer.
With over 200 appearances in the Premier League, the 33-year-old has a wealth of experience to bring to the table. Not the quickest, but his impressive reading of the game is a standout attribute.
A force to be reckoned with in the air, Vertonghen is also a threat at the other end of the pitch. The Belgian is also capable of playing at left-back, which will be an added bonus.
He has admittedly struggled to impress this season. However, his strengths can be implemented in a team that plays a slower tempo. A two-time PFA Team of the Year nominee, he still has the legs to go out with a bang.
Japhet Tanganga (Tottenham Hotspur)
The young defender has made a name for himself at Spurs under Jose Mourinho. Having played a variety of positions, he has shown that he has the skill and the mentality to compete at the top.
At just 21, the youngster has his whole career ahead of him. Having come up through the Spurs academy, Tanganga looks to be the next youth graduate to make a name for himself in the first-team.
Obtaining a young defender with a high potential for a free will be a chance a number of teams could look to exploit.
Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool)
Much was expected of Clyne when he made his move to Liverpool in 2015. He initially enjoyed a good start to life on Merseyside and was the club’s first-choice right-back for a couple of seasons.
Injuries and the emergence of Trent Alexander-Arnold have seen him fall down the pecking order since. He has made just 11 appearances for the Reds since 2017, a tally bettered during his six-month loan at Bournemouth last season.
Clyne is yet to feature this season following an anterior cruciate ligament injury in pre-season. With the emergence of Neco Williams and Ko-Jana Hoever, he is unlikely to feature again at Anfield.
At 29, Clyne still has a number of years left in him. Capable of playing on either flank and with almost 200 Premier League appearances to his name he will do a solid job for a team willing to give him a shot.
Adam Lallana (Liverpool)
The 31-year-old could have been a key player had it not been for injuries. A favourite under Brendan Rodgers, he was more or less the same when Jurgen Klopp took over.
He played a starring role in the German’s first few months at Anfield, where the Reds made it all the way to the final of the UEFA Europa League. He would add to it next season in his best return for the club with 8 goals. A run of form that prompted Liverpool to extend his contract.
It has been anything but smooth sailing since then. Injuries proved to be the bane as he found himself unable to string together a run of games. What followed was a peripheral role with the majority of them coming from the bench.
The worst of his fitness issues seem to be behind him as he has played a crucial role in rotation for the Reds this season. Having reinvented himself as a deep-lying midfielder, he has shown he has the nous to enjoy a long-lasting career.
Matthew Longstaff (Newcastle United)
The youngster from Tyneside made quite the impact on his debut against Manchester United. He opened the scoring against the English giants before going on to do the same in the return leg.
Capable of playing in both defensive and central midfield, his performances have seen him called up for England Under 20s. A player with a good passing range, Longstaff keeps things simple. This, in turn, lets the players around him express themselves as he keeps the ball ticking.
Having just turned 20, he has his whole career ahead of him. Under the right manager, there is no reason why he cannot develop into a leading Premier League midfielder.
Given the dire financial situation amidst the coronavirus pandemic, clubs could have to depend on developing their own players than splashing the cash. In such a situation, overlooking a promising young midfielder would be an oversight indeed.
David Silva (Manchester City)
A Manchester City and Spain legend, David Silva’s name will be intimately familiar even to the casual Premier League fan.
The Spanish maestro has wowed the Etihad since making the move in 2010. After a decade where he lifted almost every trophy under the sun, he looks ready to begin a new chapter in his career.
34 now, there are still few players better than Silva in unlocking an opposition defence. He has been a subject of interest from MLS side Inter Miami while also capturing attention from Japan and Qatar.
Silva will only be making a decision on his future once the season ends.
Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth)
A versatile player capable of playing anywhere along the midfield and on the wings, Fraser will be a solid addition, especially in the current market.
The player is keen to move to a Champions League side. The midfielder has made 32 appearances for the Cherries this season and has scored one goal and registered four assists. He has not been short of suitors, with the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, and Liverpool all keeping tabs on him.
One of the biggest names on the list, the Brazilian international is a seasoned performer who never appears to run out of energy.
Oliver Giroud (Chelsea)
The French world cup winner endured a difficult start to the season under new boss Frank Lampard. Relegated to the sidelines, he found opportunities hard to come by.
Keen on making the France squad for the Euros, Giroud had his heart set on a move last January. Links to Lazio, Inter Milan, and Tottenham Hotspur came to nothing as he remained at Stamford Bridge.
In an interesting twist, he came to fore following the injury to Tammy Abraham. A set of fine displays where he scored twice in four games showed he still has what it takes.
His performances have also convinced Chelsea to keep him on for another year. A contract is yet to be signed.
With the Euros postponed to next summer, Giroud has been given another bite of the cherry. Tammy Abraham looks set to continue as Lampard’s first choice. Extending his contract would vindicate Giroud’s ability but playing second fiddle once again is unlikely to take him to the Euros.
The upcoming transfer window will require an approach that is unlike we have seen in recent times. However, there are still opportunities for a team to take advantage if they so seek to. Although a number of the players on this list are above 30, they still have something to offer. Signing them will afford teams a temporary reprieve as they work out their long term plans.