With the 2016/17 football season entering into the home straight many supporters around the world will be encapsulated by the trials and tribulations of their team. Titles, European qualification, relegation and promotion will all be decided over the coming couple of months but already many clubs, and most probably players, will have one eye cast towards the summer transfer window.
The Stoke Sentinel are reporting that there are 71 players that are contracted to Premier League clubs whose current deals are set to expire in the summer, leaving these players facing the possibility of being out of a job – for a short period of time at least. These free agents will include world renowned names, ageing professionals and young starlets who have failed to flourish and there will be a multitude of clubs looking down the list to see if they can pick up a bargain purchase.
Here is The Boot Room’s combined Free Agent XI…
Wayne Hennessey (Crystal Palace)
The Welsh international has been a regular fixture in goal for Crystal Palace since arriving at Selhurst Park in January 2014 but has been somewhat erratic with his performances this campaign. Hennessey already has an abundance of experience and at the age of 30 he is still relatively young in goalkeeping terms.
Glen Johnson (Stoke City)
The former England, Chelsea and Liverpool fullback has been plying his trade in North Staffordshire since arriving as a free agent in the summer of 2015 but with his contract set to expire in the summer talks have yet to begin regarding a new deal. At the age of 32 Johnson could still have a lot to offer a Premier League club with his experience and technical ability, although he has been plagued by injuries in the last twelve months.
John Terry (Chelsea)
The former England captain is a living legend at Stamford Bridge having made over 500 appearances for The Blues. However, at the age of 36 Terry’s career at the very highest level of football is all but over and the central defender has made just ten appearances for Antonio Conte’s side this season with there being little sign of a new contract being offered. However, Terry could still be a useful signing for a Premier League side, especially if partnered with a younger, more mobile defensive partner.
Damian Delaney (Crystal Palace)
Despite being 35 the aging central defender has proven to be more than capable of performing in the Premier League by his exploits with Crystal Palace over the last four years. Delaney is very much a rugged, no-nonsense centre-half but may still have plenty to offer a mid-table team in the top-flight of English football should Sam Allardyce decide that he is surplus to requirements in the summer.
Gael Clichy (Manchester City)
Pep Guardiola is expected to conduct a major overhaul of the Manchester City squad in the summer and Clichy is likely to be amongst the departures despite playing a prominent role throughout the current campaign. The former Arsenal full-back has never been renowned for his defensive capabilities but certainly has plenty to offer from an attacking perspective and at 31 will still have the capacity to play another couple of seasons at the highest level.
Michael Carrick (Manchester United)
At the age of 35, Carrick may well be entering into the autumn of his playing career and yet the central midfielder is still highly rated by Manchester United supporters. However, his playing opportunities have been limited by the arrival of Paul Pogba and Jose Mourinho’s preference to select Ander Herrera in his starting eleven, with his future at Old Trafford very much uncertain. Carrick may lack a aspect of mobility but his technique, passing range and ability to dictate a game would make him a valuable acquisition for any Premier League side
Lucas Leiva (Liverpool)
The diminutive Brazilian is in his eighth season at Anfield but has yet to sign a new contract despite playing a prominent role in Jurgen Klopp’s rebuilding process. Lucas is recognised as being an effective defensive midfielder with an eye for an incisive pass but he has also shown his versatility this campaign having been used as a makeshift central defender. The 30-year-old still has plenty of gas in the tank and his experience of Premier League and European football would make him an attractive option for a host of top-flight teams.
Yaya Toure (Manchester City)
The 33-year-old is an iconic figure at Manchester City and has been a key component of the team in recent seasons. However, Toure was frozen out of the first-team picture by Pep Guardiola at the start of the season and, despite forcing his was back into the starting eleven, the central midfielder will depart the Etihad Stadium when his contract expires in the summer. There is no doubting the Ivorian’s technical ability and the impact that he can have on a match, but there are few clubs around the world who would be capable of meeting his current wage demands.
George Boyd (Burnley)
The 31-year-old has made over 100 appearances for Burnley since signing for The Clarets in the summer of 2014 but has yet to sign a new contract despite playing a key role in Sean Dyche’s side. Boyd is a technically adept winger and has demonstrated over the last year that he is more than capable of performing in the Premier League despite only winning two caps for Scotland. He would make a useful signing for any lower or mid-table top flight club.
Jesus Navas (Manchester City)
The Spaniard has struggled to find his feet at Manchester City since arriving at the Etihad Stadium for Sevilla in the summer of 2013. He arrived with a reputation of being a direct, pacey wide-man but has never been able to secure a permanent spot in The Citizen’s first team and has often been criticised for a lack of end product. Pep Guardiola is expected to commence some major rebuilding work with his current Manchester City squad in the summer and Navas is unlikely to survive the cull. The 31-year-old could still be a useful option should a Premier League club take the gamble on him.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United)
The Swedish superstar has been in incredible form for Jose Mourinho’s team so far this campaign and has scored 27 goals across all competitions since arriving as a free agent in the summer. However, the 35-year-old has yet to sign a new deal despite there being an option of a one-year extension in his current contract and there will be no shortage of clubs chasing his signature in the summer should he decide to depart Old Trafford.
Featured Image: All Rights Reserved Hattori Hanzo (Hattori Hanzo)