Which of these Premier League outcasts are worth acquiring on a free transfer?

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The Premier League this week published the names of all players that have been released by top flight clubs this summer and it’s fair to say there is some top talent available for free.

A number of big names featured on the list with the likes of Patrick Viera, Jonathan Woodgate, and Seb Larsson all now looking for new clubs. Relegated Birmingham, West Ham, and Blackpool have released a total of 32 players between them in an effort to re-build for life in the Championship.

There are a number of players that will catch the eye and a number of Premiership managers will be searching for a bargain. Larsson for example, almost left Birmingham in January but chose to stay until the end of the year and rumours are that old boss Arsene Wenger is looking at bringing him back to Arsenal, the club that sold him in four years ago.

Although a number of players on the list won’t struggle for a club the future is slightly less clear for injury prone pair Jonathan Woodgate and Owen Hargreaves. Both have found their respective careers at Tottenham and Manchester United hampered by injury and presents something of a risk to any potential suitors.

Woodgate, once of Real Madrid is certainly a talented player and when fit would be a superb acquisition for any club, and he could be in line for a sensational return to former club Leeds United along with old favourites Lee Bowyer and Alan Smith.

The reasons for players being released are varied, some like Larsson leave because of ambition, whereas Hargreaves and Woodgate suffered because of poor fitness, but what of those elder statesmen on the list, players in the twilight of their career?

Vieira at the age of 34 for example has admitted a desire to stay in England but how long will the queue be for the former Arsenal captain’s signature? A player of outstanding ability and a leader on and off the field some believe he has one eye on joining former team-mate Thierry Henry in the MLS.

Kevin Phillips, once the Premier League top goal scorer, is now 37 and perhaps entering the final stages of his career. A proven striker he would be a valuable asset to any Championship club chasing promotion.

A number of clubs will be looking at this list and see it as a way of bringing in talent at bargain prices. There a whole host of international footballers that could provide much needed experience for a team’s fight against relegation of the push for Europe. Boudewijn Zenden has played for the likes of PSV Eindhoven and Barcelona and has represented Holland over 50 times a player like this could certainly add something to your club.

Matthew Upson is another name that a lot of managers will be looking at very closely, the central defender now 32 is in the prime of his career and represents superb value for money following his release from West Ham. An England international and former Captain of the Hammers he will certainly be one that should not struggle to find a new club.

For now their futures are uncertain but there is no doubting the fact that there is a great deal of talent on offer and managers at home and abroad will be looking to find that player that could turn out to be the bargain of the century. are seeking new writers to join the team! If you’re passionate about football, drop us a line at “” to learn more.

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1 comment

  • David Dougan says:

    Hargreaves would be worth the risk on a pay-as-you-play deal for almost any club.

    Even a club taking him on an extended trial, or two month contract to prove that he can actually still play, then signing him once the season started could be worth the gamble.

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