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Free Transfer X1

The best team made up of players released on free transfers

Posted Jun 21, 2011 by Chris White

Seb Larsson was released by relegated Birmingham City

The list of players released by Premier League clubs this summer was released last week and there are some very big names on that list that any club would love to snap up, but maybe they’re not worth the risk. On the other hand, as free transfers, at least they don’t have to worry about transfer fees and agent payments.

The list includes some players who have played in World Cup finals, Champions League finals, and have earned international caps – even in recent years. Unsurprisingly, a large proportion of the list is made up of players who were under contract at the relegated sides, Blackpool, Birmingham City and West Ham, who had to make the inevitable cutbacks to survive outside the Premier League.

So who is on the list? Well rather than just reel them off, I started thinking about a free transfer team, with the best players for each position making up the squad. See what you think, but I reckon this side would definitely give some teams a run for their money!

Goalkeeper – MARCUS HAHNEMANN Released by Wolves having started the season as first choice. Lost his place to Wayne Hennessey despite some strong performances. Could still do a job at Premier League level, and definitely at Championship level.

Right Back – JOHN PANTSIL Fell out of favour at Fulham despite becoming somewhat of a fans favourite for his commitment. Definitely a good signing for a lower Premier League team or anyone in the Championship. Remains a Ghana international and played in the 2010 World Cup.

Centre Back – MATTHEW UPSON Full of experience and it wasn’t so long ago that he won his last England cap. Performance levels dropped over the course of the season and was a regular injury concern and one of the top earners at West Ham. Linked with a move back to first club Arsenal but that seems unlikely.

Centre Back – JONATHAN WOODGATE One of the best English defenders of his generation but his career has been blighted by injury. Made a big money move to Real Madrid earlier in his career and has made numerous comebacks only to break down again faster than an old Sierra. Linked with a pay-as-you-play deal at Leeds.

Left Back – DAVID CARNEY One of the top players at Blackpool last season and an Australian international but wanted to move on to pastures new in the Premier League. Would be a good buy for a bottom half team.

Right Midfield – SEBASTIAN LARSSON A very good player to have over dead ball situations, and a top player in general. Creates a number of chances for his strikers – unfortunately those strikers were at goal-shy Birmingham. Another linked with a return to Arsenal but could do a job in a team in the top half of the Premier League.

Central Midfield – DAVID VAUGHAN Another released by Blackpool after expressing his desire to remain in the Premier League. Often overshadowed by Charlie Adam in the Tangerines’ midfield, Vaughan created a number of chances and can score goals too. A good man to have available but unlikely to join a real top club.

Central Midfield – OWEN HARGREAVES England’s player of the tournament in Euro 2004, and was starting to dominate the Premier League with his performances at Manchester United until injury struck three years ago. Offered a pay-as-you-play deal but turned it down. Will do well to get any offers from the Premier League purely because of his injury record. A truly top class player who, like Woodgate, has been foiled by injury.

Left Midfield – ZOLTAN GERA On his day Gera can be a top player with a good range of passing and goals in him. Released by Fulham after never really cementing a place in the first team. Unfortunate to have been released before Mark Hughes left maybe. Linked with a return to West Brom but could maybe join a Europa League standard club.

Forward – BENJANI Once a big money signing for Manchester City but always struggled to nail down a spot at Eastlands. Joined Blackburn but couldn’t get into their side either and found himself behind Jason Roberts – who wasn’t even given a squad number at the start of the season. Would be a good signing for a Championship club but has struggled in Premier League sides despite glimpses of talent at Portsmouth.

Forward – JOHN CAREW Loaned out to Stoke by Aston Villa but couldn’t get into the side on regular occasions. Always been a good target man with goals in him, but can become very predictable in long ball sides. Could fit into a lower Premier League side who are happy to just win 1-0 and bang it up to a target man but I wouldn’t expect a top club to snap him up.

Substitutes - Maik Taylor, Sol Campbell, Jonathan Spector, David Jones, Lee Bowyer, Andy Reid, Diomansy Kamara

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