- Joe Hill – Championship correspondent & TFN columnist
Many clubs are still looking for the final pieces to their team before the new season begins, whether it’s the goal scoring No. 9 or the man between the sticks. But some of best options are still out there on a free transfer so I have put together a team of players available on a free transfer.
GK- Jussi Jaaskelinen
The experienced former Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United No. 1 has been in the English game since 1997 and would be great asset for any team to have around the training ground for younger professionals to learn off and probably has one or two seasons left at a side battling at the bottom of the Premier League or towards the top of the Championship.
RB- Guy Demel
This Ivory Coast international has yet again a vast amount of experience with 321 club appearances and 35 international caps. The right back has found himself out of contract since Carl Jenkinson joined West Ham on loan and with Joey O’Brien also at the club, Demel was essentially third choice last season. He still has something left in him I reckon.
CB- Antolíon Alcaraz
This 32 year old defender signed for Everton along with manager Roberto Martinez from Wigan in 2013 but he has only made 16 appearances since. With him being 32 he’ll surely be desperate to finish his career playing regular football instead of warming the bench.
CB- Mayor Figueroa
This versatile defender is probably most renowned for his half way line goal vs Stoke in 2009. Mostly playing his football at Wigan, he is like Alcaraz in he’d be hoping for regular first team football before he ends his career following his release from relegated Hull City this summer.
LB- Juan Vargas
Many may not have heard of this player but Vargas is quite a useful utility player being able to play anywhere in the midfield and in left back (obviously). His ability to dribble with the ball, threat at set pieces and a pinpoint crosser means he’s a great asset to any squad. He was released from Fiorentina this summer having joined the Italian side in 2008.
CDM Esteban Cambiasso
The Leicester City Player of the Year was one of the best signings of last season clocking up 34 appearances in helping the Foxes secure their Premier League status. This proved the former Champions League winner can still play a massive role in most teams at the top level.
RM- Isaac Cuenca
Like Juan Vargas this player is fairly unknown on British shores, but should not be underestimated. With the former Barcelona player only being 24 he still has so much to show the footballing world.
LM- Bakary Sako
The former Wolves favourite has built quite a reputation while playing for the championship outfit, with his electric pace and explosive shot he will be the perfect player for any team mid-table Premier League side.
CAM- Alberto Aquilani
Most famous for flopping at Liverpool, this playmaker can fulfill many midfield roles but preferably in attack. He has an impressive CV, despite his poor performances at Anfield, starring for Roma, Juventus, AC Milan and most recently Fiorentina. The Italian has played at all international levels from under 15s to the senior team, with 38 caps to his name. Aquilani is most likely looking to make people forget about his nightmare in Merseyside.
ST- Didier Drogba
The ex Chelsea power house waved a fond farewell to Stamford Bridge earlier this summer, stating he believed he still had a part to play in football. The Ivorian legend recently turned down a move to America shows ambition that the 37 year old goal machine still has the hunger to play at the top level.
ST- Pablo Osvaldo
The 29 year old Italian striker had somewhat of a torrid time in Southampton leaving him surplus to requirements at St Marys’ after only two years in the south coast but he’s certainly shouldn’t be over looked by clubs as has proven before in the Serie A that he can score goals. Might be a risk worth taking.
Thanks for reading this blog and I hope you enjoyed reading it.
(with thanks from my mate Anthony Banford who help come up with the team)