Skip to main content

14 former Premier League stars still on the free transfer scrapheap

Kolo Toure

1. Giuseppe Rossi

Italian forward Rossi has had rotten luck with injuries in recent years, having suffered multiple knee ligament tears at Villarreal and Fiorentina.

The ex-Manchester United youngster, who’s currently recovering from his latest fitness setback and won’t be back in action until the end of the year, could actually be a decent pick-up in a few months’ time – albeit on a pay-as-you-play deal.

2. Rickie Lambert

It’s only a little over three years since Lambert was shining as the spearhead of Mauricio Pochettino’s exciting Southampton side – but things haven’t gone well for the 6ft 2in centre-forward since then.

A dream move to Liverpool, the club Lambert supported as a kid, brought just two Premier League goals; then he found opportunities severely limited at West Brom in 2016/17. The 11-cap England international spent the second half of last term on Cardiff’s books, but he’s now searching for his 10th club at the age of 35.

3. Sulley Muntari

Muntari hit the headlines for walking off the pitch when he was racially abused by opposition fans in Italy last season. Given the shameful way that episode was handled by the authorities, it was no surprise to see him leave relegated Pescara at the end of the campaign.

Now 33, the former Milan, Inter and Portsmouth midfielder hasn't played for Ghana since being sent home from the 2014 World Cup for disciplinary reasons.

4. Jan Kirchhoff

One of the mid-season arrivals who was credited with helping Sam Allardyce’s Sunderland stay in the Premier League in 2015/16, Kirchhoff opted to leave the Stadium of Light when his contract ran out in June.

The 26-year-old former Bayern Munich man, who can play in both defence and midfield, is likely to return to his native Germany in the coming weeks.

5. Mathieu Flamini

Flamini showed flashes of quality at Crystal Palace last year, but he was always unlikely to stay at Selhurst Park for longer than a single season.

SPAL, Sampdoria and Hellas Verona are supposedly interested in bringing the former Milan midfielder back to Serie A, while Minnesota United are trying to tempt the 33-year-old to MLS.

6. Claudio Pizarro

No foreign player has scored more goals in Bundesliga history than Pizarro, who racked up 191 for Werder Bremen and Bayern Munich. Despite that, the Peruvian was released by the former at the end of last season and is now looking for a new employer.

Having had two spells at Bayern and four at Bremen, perhaps the 38-year-old striker would be open to a return to Chelsea, for whom he played 32 times in 2007/08. (File under Antonio Conte’s ‘In Emergencies Only’ folder.)

7. Joe Ledley

Ledley was shunted further down the Crystal Palace midfield pecking order when Luka Milivojevic was added in January, so it was no surprise to see club and player go their separate ways in June.

The 30-year-old Welshman doesn’t appear to be in any great rush to seal his next move: he reportedly rejected offers from China and Turkey in the summer, as well as proposals from two Championship clubs.

8. Youssouf Mulumbu

Mulumbu was a West Brom stalwart between 2009 and 2015, before a largely frustrating two-year spell with Norwich.

Now 30, the DR Congo international will be particularly keen to secure a regular first-team berth at club level, given that his country are in with a chance of qualifying for the 2018 World Cup. According to reports, Harry Redknapp wants him at Birmingham.

9. Marouane Chamakh

It’s easy to forget that Chamakh got his Arsenal career off to a great start in 2010, scoring 10 goals in his first 21 outings for the club. That proved to be an aberration rather than a sign of things to come, though, and the Moroccan was on the move three years later.

The striker redeemed his reputation a little at Crystal Palace, before making just two league appearances for Cardiff last year. Now 33, he’s been without a club since leaving the Bluebirds.

10. Jose Antonio Reyes

Another ex-Gunner, Reyes is on the lookout for new employers after being let go by Espanyol at the end of last season. Before that, he’d spent four years at boyhood side Sevilla, returning to the club where he made his name in the early 2000s. But a third spell at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan doesn’t appear to be on the cards.

Though no longer as quick as he one was, the 34-year-old winger has the experience that could tempt a top-flight European side into signing him. 

11. Sebastien Bassong

Still only 31 years old, Bassong has been a free agent since leaving Norwich in May.

The ex-Newcastle and Tottenham centre-back has played 168 times in the Premier League and won 15 caps for Cameroon, but the fact he’s been relegated six times has perhaps turned off superstitious suitors.  

12. Kolo Toure

Toure was part of Brendan Rodgers’ squad of Invincibles last season, but the fact he only played nine league games for Celtic is the principal reason why the former Arsenal, Manchster City and Liverpool man is now on the free agent list.

The 36-year-old centre-back insists he wants to continue playing, although he did accept the chance to become assistant manager of Ivory Coast’s Olympic team in August.

13. Kieran Richardson

Richardson was a Premier League player as recently as 2015/16, but he’s now out of work following a brief stint at Cardiff last season.

A trial at Tony Adams’ Granada unsurprisingly came to nothing, but Southend boss Phil Brown is hoping to persuade the 32-year-old ex-England midfielder to join the Shrimpers after he spent time training with the League One recently.

14. Bacary Sagna

A Premier League veteran with 10 years’ experience in England's top tier, Sagna still hasn’t been snapped up, over three months on from his Manchester City exit.

Leicester have recently been linked with the French right-back, who turns 35 in February, while Sporting, Benfica, Besiktas and Torino have also been mentioned as possible destinations.

Now read...

New features you’d love on