Premier League rejects: best XI
Frank Monkhouse | 4 July 2017
Coral’s team of free agents
We’re entering the summer transfer window and teams around the world watched on as English Premier League sides announced their list of players free to go. There are some big names amongst those released, not least from Manchester City.
The biggest star is, arguably, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, let go by Manchester United despite an impressive season in red. Boss Jose Mourinho wants to take the side in a new direction, putting the emphasis on youth. We have run through the major players and put together a team of rejects, and what a team of rejects it is, lining up in the 4-3-3 formation. We’ll have Sam Allardyce out of retirement to lead them…..
Goalkeeper: Willy Caballero (Man City)
One of a host of big names let go from the Etihad, but he shouldn’t have too much trouble finding another employer. Chelsea are believed to be close to signing the experienced Argentinian shot-stopper, we’d imagine as a back-up.
Defender: Bacary Sagna (Man City)
Once described as the best right back in the Premier League by Arsene Wenger, many will be surprised to see the 34-year-old Frenchman going spare. Has experience at the highest level and could still do a job at a decent level.
Defender: John Terry (Chelsea)
JT’s time at Stamford Bridge finally came to an end, and it was fitting that he bowed out with a Premier League winners medal in his back pocket. The Englishman’s future remains unclear, but there’s interest from the Premier League in keeping him active.
Defender: John O’Shea (Sunderland)
At 36 years old, there’s not too much pace in the defender’s legs these days, but what the former Manchester United man lacks in youth, he more than makes up for in experience. If he wanted to, he would get a shift outside of the top-flight.
Defender: Gael Clichy (Man City)
Another former Arsenal man who may just wish he stayed in London. Clichy was a real talent when moving to the Etihad, and still is. The French left back still has plenty left in the tank at 31, but boasts a CV well beyond his years. Liverpool are interested, but they’re not alone.
Midfielder: Joe Ledley (Crystal Palace)
Plenty of experience in our midfield too, and it was a surprise to see Ledley go. The Welsh star told reporters he wasn’t sure where he would play next, perhaps a move back to Celtic and Champions League football would suit? Only 30 years old.
Midfielder: Joe Barton (Burnley)
Judging on attitude and off-field dramas we wouldn’t touch Barton with a barge pole, but if taking this one on talent alone, he strolls into the team. As controversial as they come, Barton did do well at Burnley last season following his antics north of the border.
Midfielder: Mathieu Flamini (Crystal Palace)
Marseille, Arsenal, Milan and Crystal Palace, Flamini is sure to be in high demand. The 33-year-old midfielder hasn’t attracted the flood of interest that you might expect, not yet anyway, but we’re sure he’ll be ok. Perhaps his days in the Premier League are over.
Forward: Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Man Utd)
Had no trouble finding the net for Man Utd last season, and was set to activate a second year on his contract, but injury put an end to that, and fans were sad to see their hitman go. Will he stay in England? It’s unlikely, with a move to China thought to be in the pipeline.
Forward: Frazier Campbell (Crystal Palace)
Capped at every level for England from U16s through to the senior squad, the striker was let go by Crystal Palace, and that made a few sit up and take note. The Huddersfield-born scorer has attracted attention from the Championship, and that could be his best offer.
Forward: Jesus Navas (Man City)
The former City attacker looks set to be on his way back to Spain, with Sevilla the first La Liga club to make their intentions clear. That didn’t surprise either, as he came through the youth ranks at Sevillistas, and would be welcomed back by fans.