The European transfer window was slammed shut last week. The Premier League wasn’t that tolerant, English sides were rushed off the market earlier than usual. Even with the window well shut, some players could still move to its top-tier. These ones are known as free agents.
Finding a top club could sometimes be gruelling, especially for those on the wrong side of thirty, Yaya Toure is a perfect example. Despite eight trophy-laden years at Manchester City, the 35-year-old’s rich resume couldn’t get him another job in England. You can imagine the ordeal of lesser-known players with fewer qualifications.
It is true that free things can’t guarantee genuine quality but sometimes, it does. Certain players have proven shrewd additions despite not commanding any outlay. Robert Lewandowski. Andre Pirlo. Jack Wilshere. All were at some point free agents yet added value to their new sides.
As the international break is winding up, here are five freebies Premier League clubs should consider.
At his peak, Terry was up there with the world’s best centre-backs. But at 37, he’s no longer the player he was. Still, the Chelsea legend has some fuel left to burn in the Premier League. But his loyalty to the Blues may not allow him.
Terry spent last season at Aston Villa in the Championship – possesses leadership qualities some clubs would benefit from. His charisma, doggedness and determination helped the club reach the promotion play-off. A mid-table team could make full use of his industry.
Currently serving a ban for using a drip treatment at a Los Angeles clinic, Nasri will be free to return to training with any club in November. The last couple of years has been turbulent for the Frenchman who left Manchester City under a cloud which hovered in short spells at Sevilla and Antalyaspor.
Motivation is the biggest question mark against the 31-year-old, but there should be no doubting his talent once he returns to availability later this year. Nasri made his mark in England with Arsenal before joining the City revolution. He could still cut it at the highest level.
Standing at 6ft 8in, Lacina Traore is one of the tallest footballers in the game yet his physique can’t find him a club after being released by Amiens. A nomad, the 28-year-old has played for eight different sides in less than a decade since leaving his native Ivory Coast.
He had one forgettable year in the Premier League at Everton, on loan from Monaco. Traore started just once for the Toffees and didn’t come close to finding the net. The 28-year-old would definitely relish a second chance, the likes of Huddersfield, Cardiff and Burnley could use with his physical presence.
After three years at Crystal Palace, the Mali international departed this summer with plenty of goodwill if little else to show for it. Sako wasn’t the most popular at Selhurst Park. He managed just five goals in almost 50 top-flight matches.
Sako made his name at Wolves where plundered 36 strikes in three years. A return to the Molineux or Palace would be welcomed by the forward. Sako turned 30 this year but could prove a shrewd signing for these sides.
Enyeama is distinct in two ways. The Nigerian is a goalkeeper and has never cut his teeth in England. He gained a massive fanbase during his time in the French Ligue 1 and Israeli league. In both, the 36-year-old proved a reliable custodian of repute.
In Israel, he won the league crown twice and picked up the overall best player award once. Before falling out of favour at Lille, he was considered untouchable. Enyeama flaunted incredible reflexes, positioning and superb ball-playing ability. At 36, he’s still got some years ahead and a final move to England would be a dream come true.