At about this time each year, English Premier League clubs start to release a list of the players who are out of contract and will not be offered a new deal.
Released players are a curious breed.
They are often dealt a rough hand, many are capable of performing at the highest level but didn’t quite get the breaks. One way or another, most are now scrapping for any opportunity they can get to play pro soccer for one more season.
With that in mind, free agents can often prove to be a great deal financially and often have a chip on their shoulder that spurs them on to success after being given a second chance somewhere else.
That got me thinking, would any of the EPL players released today be able to do a good job in Major League Soccer?
So let’s take a look at which pros now find themselves without a club, after several EPL sides announced their released lists.
Andrey Arshavin, Denilson, Sebastien Squillaci
Eric Lichaj, Andy Marshall, Richard Dunne, Jean Makoun, Simon Dawkins
Simeon Jackson, Elliott Ward
Frazer Richardson, Danny Butterfield, Dan Seaborne, Ryan Dickson
Titus Bramble, Matthew Kilgallon, Ryan Noble
Jermaine Pennant, Dean Whitehead, Carlo Nash, Matthew Upson, Rory Delap, Matthew Lund, Mamady Sidibe
Jerome Thomas, Gonzalo Jara
So out of that list above, Andrey Arshavin, Simon Dawkins, Eric Lichaj, Richard Dunne, Simeon Jackson, Titus Bramble, Jermaine Pennant, Matthew Upson and Jerome Thomas could all do a very good job in MLS for one team or another.
Some of those players have already been linked with a move across to the US or Canada. With Arshavin linked with the Galaxy for months, while Dunne was once a target for the New York Red Bulls. Elsewhere Dawkins could fancy a return to the San Jose Earthquakes, he certainly sparkled under Frank Yallop during his two loan spells from Tottenham Hotspur.
More EPL teams will announce their released lists in the coming days. So more bargains for Major League Soccer teams could present themselves.
If you think any of the names on the list above could be classified as bargains, that is?