Football can be a cruel game and when a player’s time comes to an end at a particular club, it’s possible he may be stuck without a club as the season begins. There are many free agents right now, but I have four who stand out quite significantly, and some could even play at the highest level right now.
The 32-year-old midfielder was surely destined to become was Del Piero was to Juve, what Maldini was to Milan or what Totti was to Roma. Sadly not. Marchisio spent his entire career at boyhood club Juventus (except for a loan spell at Empoli during the 2007/08 season), only to be told recently that he was surplus to requirements. An emotional statement from the midfielder on Instagram followed, where he professed his eternal love for the “two colours”. Perhaps a move to Newcastle could be arranged so?
Hatem Ben Arfa
The French star has had a very up-and-down career. He rose to prominence with Lyon and Marseille, winning numerous Ligue 1 titles with both, before moving to Newcastle permanently in 2011. He spent three seasons at Tyneside before moving to glamourous Hull. A move back to France, saw the player have a phenomenal 2015/16 season with Nice before he was snapped up by nouveau rich PSG. With the plethora of talent the Parisians brought in over the past couple of seasons, Ben Arfa’s opportunities are limited and at 31 he now finds himself without a club.
The number 42 shirt worn by the Ivorian while he was at Manchester City was to signify the age he will retire from football, according to his agent. That means, at 35, Toure has seven years left in him apparently. He may want to get the finger out as he hasn’t played much football over the past twelve months. A supremely gifted central midfielder, the player has played in countries such as Belgium, Ukraine, Greece, Spain as well as England. Is this it for the Ivorian international? Or will we indeed see seven more years we were promised?
The 34-year-old arrived on the scene and young player full of promise to become an elite level player. Liverpool couldn’t believe their luck when they signed the Italian from Roma in 2009 for €20 million. Sadly the gifted and versatile player’s career since has been plagued with injuries. Despite his talent and elite clubs he’s played for since (Juventus, Milan, Sporting Lisbon to name but a few), Aquilani never really fulfilled the promise he showed as a youth. That said, he’s current;y a free agent and it would be a decent gamble if a club was to take a punt on him now.
Honourable mentions go to:
- John Terry
- Wes Hoolahan
- Robert Huth
- Lacina Traore
- Miguel Veloso
- Glen Johnson
- Adam Maher
Follow Rob Smith on Twitter (@robsmithireland)