The transfer window may have closed, but it hasn’t stopped some clubs frantically investigating the free agent market as they search for additions to their squad.
Individuals who have drifted into the background through chronic injury, bad luck or just sheer ineptitude can still be snapped up by any club willing to throw a contract their way. Michael Owen appears to have sorted his future out by signing for Stoke City, and former free agent Alessandro Del Piero has just put pen to paper to seal a money-laden jaunt to Austrailia’s A League, but the free transfer market still features one or two notable names that will be looking to secure their future sooner rather than later.
Craig Gordon – Released by Sunderland
The 29-year-old Scot has endured an injury ravaged two years, which has included a broken arm, knee tendon tears and cruciate ligament injuries, to name a few. Until the arrival of Asamoah Gyan in 2010, Gordon stood as Sunderland’s record signing from Hearts for £9 million in 2007, and held the British fee for a goalkeeper until David de Gea’s £18 million arrival at Old Trafford. After being released by the Black Cats, the shot-stopper continues to search for a new club.
Nigel Reo Coker – Released by Bolton via contractual relegation clause
The south London-born midfielder left Bolton Wanderers following the club’s relegation from the Premier League last season, and it had been suggested that a sheepish return to the Reebok Stadium was on the cards. Reo-Coker activated a release clause once the club were relegated, and had hoped to secure first team football with another Premier League club, but is still waiting for a suitable offer.
Owen Hargreaves – Released by Manchester City
The injury plagued midfielder has not endured an easy five years. After signing for Manchester United in 2007, the Canadian born England international made just 37 appearances for the Red Devils before being released in 2011. He signed for Manchester City the same summer, taking a swipe at Manchester United’s backroom medical staff in the process, before embarking on another injury-ridden spell in the blue half of Manchester, making just a single appearance for the club. Despite their penchant to signing aged 30+ Premier League veterans, Queens Park Rangers decided not to sign Hargreaves, despite training with the club over the summer. No mention of any other takers as of yet.
Emile Heskey – Released by Aston Villa
Perhaps the Premier League’s least convincing ‘striker’ in recent years, The former Leicester City, Liverpool, Birmingham and Wigan striker was released by Aston Villa over the summer, where he managed a paltry ratio of 9 goals in 92 appearances in three years for the Villans. Espanyol earlier did their best to distance themselves from reports linking Heskey with a move to the club, and the former England international was reportedly subject to an offer from Blackpool, offered a tempting £90 a week by Ian Holloway. Surely Liverpool could top that.
John Mensah – Released by Lyon
The tough tackling Ghanaian left Lyon via mutual consent during the summer, and has been linked with a return to English football. Mensah spent two consecutive seasons on loan at Sunderland, making 35 appearances during his time in the north east. The powerful centre back’s injuries stopped manager Steve Bruce from making the move permanent for €7 million, however a return to England with West Ham United reportedly interested beckons for the former Rennes captain.
Eidur Gudjohnsen - Released by AEK Athens
The former Chelsea and Barcelona forward has just been released by Greek side AEK Athens, and could be an option for those Premier League sides seeking additional cover up front. Following his relatively successful spell at Barcelona, The former Iceland international returned to London for a loan spell at Tottenham Hotspur, via Monaco. Subsequent spells at Stoke City and Fulham followed but Gudjohnsen failed to replicate the sparkle he carried in his game years ago. Could he be tempted by one more Premier League stint.
Former Celtic full back Andreas Hinkel, Wigan washout Jason Koumas and former Liverpool youngster Florent Sinama Pongolle are also some of the options left out there for the clubs who are still not sastisfied with their squad.