Summer 2020 – Out of contract XI
Michael Johnson | 27 March 2020
We’ve picked a strong-looking eleven, with contracts set to expire in June
While we don’t know exactly how the 2019/20 Premier League season will conclude yet, what we do know is that there are dozens of players with contracts set to expire, on the traditional June 30th date.
There are some big names on the list too, with multiple Premier League winners, along with emerging talents and perhaps a few who players are a little past their best.
We’ve put together our ‘Out of Contract XI’ below. See what you think…
Ben Foster – Watford
Once upon a time, picking Ben Foster over Joe Hart might have seemed questionable, but not anymore. While Hart’s stock has declined over the last few seasons Ben Foster has remained a stable, consistent presence between the sticks, frequently linked with moves to bigger clubs or even an England call-up.
The man himself, is also one of football’s nice guys and just in-case you forgot, he was part of the side that ended Liverpool’s 44-game unbeaten run, keeping a clean sheet in Watford’s 3-0 victory over the Reds at Vicarage Road.
Nathaniel Clyne – Liverpool
Forgot that Nathaniel Clyne was at Liverpool? You’re probably not the only one. The 28 year-old has had a torrid time with injuries since his £12.5 million move from Southampton back in 2015.
Seeing one of the world’s best right-backs in Trent Alexander-Arnold emerge in his place probably hasn’t helped his cause either.
But at 28, there’s still time for Clyne to rediscover his form and live up to some of his promise.
Jan Vertonghen – Tottenham
After eight years at Spurs, more than 220 appearances and the club’s Player of the Year award in 2018, Vertonghen has been a loyal servant to the club and an essential, reliable cog in the back four.
However, it’s clear that the Tottenham squad needs a refresh, and Vertonghen is coming to the point of his career where a move might suit him. With Napoli mooted as a potential destination, the classy 32-year-old could be ideally suited to adapt to Italian football.
Japhet Tanganga – Tottenham
At the opposite end of the scale to Vertonghen is youngster Japhet Tanganga, who has been one of Spurs’ few bright spots this season.
While the talented academy graduate is reportedly in advanced negotiations to extend his stay, at the time of writing, his contract is due to expire at the end of June.
Leighton Baines – Everton
At 35 years old, there’s no doubt that the Everton left-back’s powers have been waning for a few years now. But with more than 340 appearances for the Toffees, the veteran has been synonymous with the Merseyside club during his 13-year stay and still holds the role of vice-captain.
During that time he’s been named in the PFA Team of the Year twice, received Everton’s Player of the Season award twice, and Player’s Player of the Season on three occasions. He even scored their Goal of the Season in 2011, with a screamer of a free-kick against Chelsea in the FA Cup.
Willian – Chelsea
A hard-working winger, with a penchant for scoring (57), assisting (58) and pinging in the odd sublime direct free kick (10) for the Blues.
The Brazilian has occasionally been overshadowed by the likes of Eden Hazard, but his willingness to work for his team has seen manager after manager turn to him – he was even named both fans and players Chelsea Player of the Season in the infamous Mourinho meltdown season of 2015/16.
David Silva – Manchester City
The graceful Spanish midfielder is one of the finest modern-era Premier League players, with four Premier League titles to his name.
Silva’s sublime passing ability and quickness of thought have seen him make more than 300 appearances for Man City and he currently sits at 7th on the all-time Premier League assists list, with 90 credited. But football fans know he’s played his part in many special goals, moves and moments on the pitch.
Adam Lallana – Liverpool
Another Southampton to Liverpool transfer whose playing-time has been severely hampered by injury. Lallana was an established member of the side and appearing regularly for England before suffering a long-term injury in the 2017-18 pre-season.
Since then he’s only played in fits and starts, suffering further injuries to impede his comeback. In the interim, Liverpool seem to have moved on without him and a move elsewhere could suit both parties.
Ryan Fraser – Bournemouth
It hasn’t quite happened for the 26-year-old Scot this season. After a stunning 2018/19 campaign, where he notched seven goals and 14 assists, Fraser was linked with a summer move to Arsenal.
When the move failed to materialise, Fraser himself admitted it affected his motivation, and that’s reflected in just one goal and four assists in 28 appearances for Bournemouth this term.
Transfer rumour suggests that Mikel Arteta could still sign Fraser in the summer, but he can’t afford another lacklustre season like this one.
Olivier Giroud – Chelsea
The Frenchman can feel a little hard done by this year, largely being frozen out of the first-team as Frank Lampard preferred youth over experience, even when the goals began to dry up for the likes of Tammy Abraham.
However, a recent injury to Abraham allowed the World Cup-winning striker to demonstrate that he’s still capable of performing to a high standard, and he looks set to join Inter when his contract expires.
Pedro – Chelsea
Is Pedro technically a striker? No. Would you rather have him in your team than Andy Carroll? Probably.
One of the Premier League’s most decorated players, Pedro can boast a World Cup, European Championship, five La Liga titles, three Champions League wins, one Premier League title and frankly about 20 more trophies and honours to his name.
He might not fit in Frank Lampard’s current philosophy for Chelsea, but he’s unlikely to struggle in finding another club.
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