Five former Premier League stars who are now free agents

The transfer window may be closed, but clubs across England can still add free agents to their ranks, and believe it or not, there are actually some high-profile players currently without a club. And, should injuries continue to rack up across the Premier League, we could end up seeing clubs taking a punt on some of these free agents. With that in mind, we have put together this list of the five best players currently unattached.  

Antonio Valencia 

Ecuador international Antonio Valencia started his Premier League career with Wigan Athletic, were he spent two years on loan from La Liga outfit Villarreal, before signing permanently for the Latics. After a further two seasons at the DW Stadium, Valencia earned a move to Manchester United. The versatile player, who could play on the right wing or at right back, was rather successful at Old Trafford, winning two Premier Leagues, two League Cups, the FA Cup, and the Europa League, as well as being named in the PFA Team of the Year in 2009-10, the Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year in 2011-12, and the Man United Players’ Player of the Year twice (2011-12, 2016-17). After ten years at the club, Valencia moved to L.D.U Quito in his homeland, but after just one season, and 10 appearances, the former Red Devils captain was released, and is still without a club.

Jack Wilshere

Once tipped to be England’s next big thing, Jack Wilshere’s promising career never really took off. After making his international debut for the Three Lions at just 18 and breaking into the Arsenal team at around the same time, Wilshere was tipped to fill the boots of the ageing Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard. However, a string of never-ending injuries hindered his career, and between 2010 and 2018, the midfielder made just 150 Premier League appearances, including 27 whilst on loan to Bournemouth. Wilshere spent the last two years at West Ham, but made just 16 appearances in that period, before being released. Still only 28, the midfielder is being heavily tipped in the bet exchange with a move to Glasgow Rangers, where he would link up with Gerrard.

Shinji Kagawa

Japanese midfielder Shinji Kagawa probably won’t have fond memories of the Premier League, and we’re sure the Manchester United fans probably don’t have many memories of him donning a Red Devils jersey either. Kagawa impressed at Borussia Dortmund, scoring 21 goals in 49 Bundesliga appearances, and as a result earned a £12m move to Old Trafford. However, he made just 38 league appearances across two seasons in Manchester, scoring only six goals, before returning to Dortmund for just £6.5m. Kagawa remained at Dortmund until 2019, spending his last season at the club on loan to Beşiktaş, before moving to Zaragoza in Spain’s Segunda División, but after just one season, he was released. 

Daniel Sturridge

Daniel Sturridge started his career with Manchester City, getting a move to Chelsea in 2009. After an unsuccessful first season and a half at Stamford Bridge, scoring just once in 26 league outings, Sturridge spent the latter half of the 2010-11 season at Bolton, were he scored eight times in 12 league appearances. Upon his return to west London, the striker scored 11 goals in 30 games in the 2011-12 season, but after making just seven appearances for the Blues in the next term, Sturridge moved to Liverpool. His first couple of seasons at Anfield were successful, as he scored 31 goals in 43 appearances, but he quickly fell off the radar, due to injuries, and after five seasons of barely playing, he moved to Trabzonspor, were he received a worldwide ban for gambling, and was subsequently released by the Turkish club. Despite being linked with several clubs, including Rangers, Sturridge is still without a club.

Mario Balotelli

It’s been a whirlwind of a career for Mario Balotelli. After three years at Inter Milan, Balotelli was reunited with his former San Siro boss Roberto Mancini at Manchester City. Despite several issues off the pitch, the Italian wasn’t actually too bad on it, scoring six goals in 17 league appearances in his first season, before netting 13 times in 23 outings in his second term, whilst he also assisted Aguero in possibly the most famous Premier League moment off all time, helping Man City pip their bitter rivals to the Premier League title. The striker lasted just another half-a-season at the Etihad before moving to AC Milan, but it wasn’t long before we saw him back in England, as he signed for Liverpool in 2014. However, after netting just once in 16 appearances, he was sent back on loan to Milan, before permanent stints at Nice, Marseille, and most recently, Brescia. 

Other honourable mentions include, former Aston Villa keeper Orjan Nyland, ex-Watford defender Daryl Janmaat and former Leicester City striker Ahmed Musa.

Would you like to see any of these players at your club?