Coral XI of current free agents following Amalfitano release
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | October 7, 2015
It may be over a month after the 2015 summer transfer window shut, but there are still some household names without a club that can be snapped up at any point.
Former France attacker Morgan Amalfitano has just been added to that list after leaving West Ham United, following a reported fall-out with new boss Slaven Bilic.
So, in light of that Coral have picked a starting XI of free agents, including the 30-year-old and all also with previous experience playing in England, that could still do a job for first or second-tier teams…
Goalkeeper: Stipe Pletikosa
With 114 caps to his name for Croatia, Pletikosa would be a fantastic signing for even a Premier League club, perhaps as a second-choice stopper. Although 36-years-old, the former Tottenham loanee could still have a couple years left in him.
Right back: Luke Wilkshire
Australia international Wilkshire made his name in England for Middlesbrough and then Bristol City, but went onto play for higher profile teams FC Twente, Dynamo Moscow and Feyenoord, before leaving the latter this summer. At 33, he is certainly in his twilight years, but would be a decent acquisition for a Championship club.
Centre back: Ron Vlaar
Vlaar is currently still only a free agent for the reason that he is out with a knee injury, but clubs will be circling him like tigers ready to pounce when he has recovered. Most recently at Aston Villa (22/1 for a top 10 finish), the Netherlands centre back is expected to be fit before the New Year.
Left back: Urby Emanuelson
Although Emanuelson has been used further up the field in his latter career, he started off as a left wing back and is still adept to that position. The 16-capped Netherlands international has played for the likes of Ajax, AC Milan and Roma, while also gaining Premier League experience on loan at Fulham, and is still just 29.
Centre midfield: Hassan Yebda
French-born midfielder Yebda, 31,spent a brief spell on loan with Portsmouth, helping them to the 2009/10 FA Cup final, and the Algeria international is free after leaving UAE side Al-Fujairah. He counts the likes of Benfica, Napoli and Udinese as former clubs.
Centre midfield: Kevin Nolan
Yes, experienced midfielder and recent Hammers star Nolan is still out of contract, despite being highly regarded. The 33-year-old would be a great Premier League squad player or a key man for most Championship clubs.
Right wing: Ricardo Vaz Te
Tricky winger Vaz Te is certainly adept to British leagues, having spent time with Bolton Wanderers, Hibernian, Barnsley and West Ham United (12/1 to finish in the top six). The 28-year-old did well most recently at Turkish outfit Akhisar Belediyespor.
Attacking midfield: Morgan Amalfitano
Bilic is not the first manager he’s fallen out with, as the Frenchman also had issues with his former Marseille boss Marcelo Bielsa. But, with an international cap to his name and a wealth of experience, Amalfitano could still do a job for a decent Premier League side or equivalent standard club in Europe.
Left wing: Georgios Samaras
Greek forward Samaras has spent the majority of his career in Britain, most prominently for Celtic and current 8/11 odds-on title favourites Manchester City, but decided to part ways with West Bromwich Albion after a season. The 30-year-old may need to drop down a division to get game time.
Striker: Emmanuel Adebayor
Once hailed as one of the best strikers around, having starred for the likes of top teams Arsenal, Man City, Real Madrid and Spurs for certain seasons, the 31-year-old’s personal life and inconsistency on the pitch has resulted in him being club-less. Bournemouth recently lost Callum Wilson through injury, so could they now go in for the Togo attacker?
Striker: Shola Ameobi
Long-serving former Newcastle United striker Ameobi has found it tough since leaving St James’ Park, with uninspiring spells with Turkish team Gaziantep and Crystal Palace, but could finally find a new home in the Championship. Top six shouts Bolton Wanderers (28/1) have been linked with the 33-year-old, to perhaps play alongside Emile Heskey.