8 Premier League-quality players who’ll be available for absolutely nothing this summer
Premier League clubs don’t need much encouragement to splash their cash, but while managers scour the globe to get some late January business done, looking ahead to the summer might be wise instead.
Several players’ futures are up in the air as they await news of contract extensions, and the clutch of stars below are all in the same boat...
1. Sead Kolasinac (Schalke)
Full-backs are expected to be effective at both ends of the pitch these days, and therefore Kolasinac is a player in demand. Schalke’s Bosnian rarely puts a foot wrong defensively, having won over 50% of his duels and made 3.7 interceptions per Bundesliga match in 2016/17.
The 23-year-old’s speed and strength allow him to contribute offensively too, as demonstrated by two goals and four assists to his name already this season.
Kolasinac is incredibly well suited to a 3-5-2 formation, so it’s no surprise that Juventus and Chelsea are making enquiries for him. One minor concern is that a ruptured ACL kept Kolasinac out for six months and has limited his playing time of late, but the Bosnian has showed no signs of regression after returning to action under Markus Weinzierl.
2. Rachid Ghezzal (Lyon)
After arriving at somewhat of a crossroads in his career, Ghezzal found form at the right time to not only fire Lyon up the table, but potentially take his career to new heights too.
Though often used at the point of a midfield diamond, it was on the right wing where he excelled in place of the injured Nabil Fekir. Ghezzal is a brilliant dribbler who enjoys beating defenders and cutting in on his stronger left foot; unsurprisingly, his footballing idol is Arjen Robben.
Despite contract talks dragging on for months, Lyon and Ghezzal are still yet to agree personal terms, which makes a summer departure extremely likely. Clubs from England and Spain (including Spurs, Everton and West Ham) have shown interest in the talented 24-year-old, but a history of attitude problems and inconsistent form should make them think twice before acting.
3. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Schalke)
Having spent years on the periphery of various clubs in Germany, Hamburg-born Cameroon international Choupo-Moting is now established in the Bundesliga.
Standing at 6ft 2in and deployed either on the left wing or up front, the forward – who has started his last six league games as a striker – has demonstrated intelligent movement and a decent eye for goal by drifting inside to support his team-mates from wide areas.
Choupo-Moting is currently hesitating on a new deal at Schalke, and a player of his quality deserves to play European football on a regular basis. Above all, his professional, team-based approach is welcome in the current footballing climate, and the Cameroonian has the potential to be a useful squad player if snapped up by the right club.
4. Gregory Sertic (Bordeaux)
Every team needs a player who quietly goes about their job without fuss; somebody who mops up efficiently and allows the more creative players to shine.
During his seven-year stint with Bordeaux, Sertic has fulfilled such a role. The Frenchman sits just in front of the back four, breaking up play and winning any second balls before moving on possession quickly – subsequently allowing his team to counter in numbers. Amid an injury crisis at the club, he has even deputised at centre-back this season.
Bundesliga strugglers Werder Bremen attempted to sign Sertic this month without fruition, while MLS outfit Orlando City have also been linked with the 27-year-old. But should he become a free agent this summer, English clubs could do worse than adding a consistent and versatile player like him to their ranks.