Kylian Mbappe is one of the most prominent players available on a free transfer
Free transfers have been a great avenue to get good deals with the pandemic having affected several clubs. Paris Saint-Germain signed several last summer. One of those free transfers was Lionel Messi.
Players are also beginning to run down their contracts rather than extending them. This offers greater freedom to the player to decide where they want to go, and for the players to sign better contracts.
Kylian Mbappé is one of the most popular players available on a free transfer this summer. This article will look at a few other such players that may have gone under the radar, players that offer value for money to the club that came in for them. There are some great options available.
Destroyer on a free transfer – Franck Kessié
Franck Kessié is a central midfielder who plays for AC Milan in Serie A. The 25-year-old Ivory Coast player’s contract runs out this summer, and he will be available for free.
Kessié made his name at Atalanta before moving on loan to AC Milan in 2017. Milan signed him permanently in 2019, and he has made over 100 appearances for the club since.
Kessié operates as part of a midfield two with Sandro Tonali alongside him. He is well rounded, especially with the ball at his feet. He is strong in possession and has an eye for goal as well.
Defensively, there is room for improvement, but he makes interceptions and blocks. Kessié’s profile of players is in demand across Europe this summer, but unlike several others, he is free.
A striker with a point to prove – Andrea Belotti
Andrea Belotti is an Italian striker who plays for Torino in Serie A. At the age of 28, it looks like he will be looking for a change this summer. There was a time around five years ago when Belotti was in high demand after scoring 26 goals in a single campaign.
It has been a gradual decline since, and this season, he has only managed eight goals in the league.
Andrea Belotti isn’t a modern forward. The striker is old fashioned. If you give him a chance in the box, he will hit the target. A transfer to a top team might not be possible, but a mid-table team in any of Europe’s top five leagues could use him on a free.
No one knows whether Belotti would entertain a move within Europe or would like to stay in Italy.
An English defender – James Tarkowski
James Tarkowski will be leaving his current club on a free transfer
Burnley might stay in the Premier League, or they could get relegated, but James Tarkowski will be leaving the club this summer. Tarkowski has been at Burnley since 2016 and, over time, has become a mainstay in their backline. The centre-back is well regarded in England, and at 29, he is still in the prime of his career.
What a team will get with Tarkowski is a solid defender. He has been a consistent performer for Burnley, and he ranks in the 99th percentile for aerials, blocks, and clearances.
He’s a good tackler and someone who can play out from the back. Tarkowski also has an eye for goals and ranks well under assists. If a team is looking for a centre-back for free, then Tarkowski is the man.
An attacking midfielder – Jesse Lingard
Jesse Lingard is a great player for a free transfer
Jesse Lingard’s Manchester United career is coming to an end this summer. Lingard could have joined West Ham United last summer, but United decided to keep him and barely use him.
How good can Lingard be? Last season, during his six-month loan spell at West Ham, he managed nine goals and five assists over 16 appearances.
Lingard needs to move to a club where he is given consistent game time and valued. He is a well-rounded midfielder and also presses from the front, an attribute that is important in many systems. Quite a few teams should be in for the England midfielder this summer for free.
A forgotten man – Paulo Dybala
Paulo Dybala is available on a free transfer
Surprisingly, a player of Paulo Dybala’s quality is available for free, but the striker is on the move this summer. Dybala signed for Juventus in 2015 and has been a mainstay for the Italian giants ever since.
He has made 26 appearances in the league this season, scoring nine goals and assisting five. For Dybala, it is simply a case of needing a change.
The 28-year-old Argentine ranks high in attacking metrics like expected goals and assists. He is second to none in possession, and he has a nasty side to him as well, with the ability to get stuck into a tackle.
It is fair to say that if a team can set themselves up for Dybala, then he could thrive in any league. On a free transfer, he is an absolute bargain.
These are just a few of the many players available on a free transfer this summer. The pandemic continues to affect club revenues, and teams will be looking to exploit the free transfer market. Could we see several of these players in the Premier League, or will they choose to play elsewhere? Only time will tell.