Coral’s XI of former Premier League stars that are now free agents
With the summer transfer window now closed, there are still certain players available to be snapped up for free. So Coral writers have compiled a starting XI team of players who have experienced the Premier League, and can still do a job in England, despite the vast majority being over the age of 30.
Tomasz Kuszczak – Goalkeeper
Former Manchester United and Poland stopper Kuszczak would be an excellent acquisition for any Premier League or Championship side, as a back-up or starter respectively.
Released by Brighton last term after helping them to the play-off semi-finals, the 33-year-old was also impressively nominated twice on a list 10 in the Premier League 20 Seasons Awards for Best Save.
Jermaine Pennant – Right wing back
Not usually known for being a right back, but we thought we’d put him here to see his reaction, after he once aimed a Tweet at former Stoke City boss Tony Pulis when he was deployed there, saying: “I can’t score a free kick if there isn’t 1 around the box and I played bloody wing back today I’ve never ever been a full back in my life [sic].”
Pennant also holds the accolade of being the only English player to have featured in a European Cup final, but not capped by the Three Lions. Still only 31, the former Liverpool, Arsenal and Real Zaragoza winger can still do a job in the top-flight.
Diego Lugano – Centre back
Uruguay’s international ‘captain slow’, 33, is a free agent after being released from last season’s Premier League strugglers, West Bromich Albion. His 95 caps, and spells at clubs such as Sao Paolo, Fenerbahce and PSG certainly make him an ideal option for an inexperienced defence.
Joseph Yobo – Centre back
It is surprising that Nigeria centurion Yobo has yet to be snapped up. The 33-year-old went to the recent World Cup in Brazil, helping his nation to the last 16, where he was captain in a 2-0 defeat to France, scoring an own goal.
He was at Everton for nearly a decade, and most recently spent the season on loan at Norwich City, but was released from parent club Fenerbahce.
Andrea Dossena – Left wing back
Italy international Dossena has come back and forth between Italy and England twice now, but was only a bit-part player fro Sunderland last term, and was released after one season. The former Liverpool and Napoli left-sided defender is still only 32 and could be a useful squad member.
Florent Malouda – Right winger
Usually a right winger, but also adept to playing on the right, Malouda, 35, is looking for a club following his release from Turkish outfit Trabzonspor at the end of last season.
It is with Chelsea the former France international is more fondly remembered at, though. During his six-year spell at Stamford Bridge, he helped the club win the Premier League, Champions League and three FA Cups.
Alou Diarra – Defence midfielder
Diarra is well-travelled during his career, having spent time at clubs such as Bayern Munich, Liverpool, Lyon and, most recently, at West ham United.
After rarely featuring for the Hammers in his two year spell, the 33-year-old former France international is without a club.
Jack Collison – Centre midfielder
Another former Hammer, English-born Wales international Collison spent his whole career to date with the club, going out on two loan spells, but the east Londoners surprisingly decided to not to offer him a new contract. Still just 25, he has a lot to offer and prove still.
Matt Etherington – Left midfielder
It may be a shock to see that Etherington is without a club, after being a key part of Stoke’s success over the past five years. With the winger now 33, new Potters Mark Hughes clearly couldn’t find regular room for him in his side, but he would be a top signing for a Championship side.
Nicolas Anelka – Striker
Any club fancy giving this former superstar a new club? Despite Le Sulk’s controversies and well-documented attitude, there is no denying he has talent.
Anelka, now 35, has played for some of the biggest clubs in the world, such as PSG, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Liverpool, Man City, Chelsea and Juventus. Quite a CV, and he could certainly still do a decent job for a mid-table Premier League side.
Emile Heskey – Support Striker
From Le Sulk, we bring you the Hulk (or the Hesk if you like), and England’s very own battering ram Heskey. Much-maligned throughout his career, he still managed to gain 62 caps for the Three Lions across an 11-year spell, scoring um… seven times, it is a surprise no one has snapped up the 36-year-old.
He was more recently spotted donning the shirt of Newcastle Jets out in Australia, where he was prolific (for him), getting a goal nearly every four games. It has been said he is interested in extending his career back in England. So please, this is a request to any club; everyone wants to see this happen.