Today is the day plenty of English Premier League players came back out on the free agent market. Let the rumors begin.
Earlier this morning the EPL announced that each club has handed in their list of players who had been retained or released.
Some big names were on the released list, as William Gallas, Roque Santa Cruz and Yossi Benayoun all spring to mind.
When you scroll through there are certainly plenty of other players who could end up back in the Premier League next season, or indeed in other top flights across Europe. Ashavin, Hitzlsperger, Lichaj, Simpson, Schwarzer and Pennant would all be worth a go.
So just where could some of them end up? Let’s take a look at a few of these former stars to see if they could find their feet in England’s top-flight once again or maybe their days in the EPL are over.
William Gallas has had an injury-hit spell to end his career at Tottenham Hotspur but before that the Frenchman was giving proof to the old adage that ‘age is just a number.’
The former Arsenal defender is 35, but he could certainly last another one or two seasons in the EPL. A mid table team like Stoke City or West Ham could get very good value for money from Gallas. That is if he wants to drop down and not compete for the top four as he has done throughout his EPL career. A solid and capable defender.
Yossi Benayoun has had a strange few years in the English Premier League. After excelling at West Ham when he burst onto the scene, the 33-year-old Israeli international has bounced around plenty of huge sides without playing many minutes. At Liverpool he made a promising start and scored 18 goals in 92 games for the Reds.
But his move to Chelsea really halted his career, as Benayoun was loaned out to both Arsenal and former club West Ham during his three seasons ‘at’ Stamford Bridge. Still, with a whole host of EPL experience and his incredible flair on the ball, Benayoun could be a steal for another mid table team looking for creativity. Although his age has limited his appearances in recent years. A move abroad to Major League Soccer or elsewhere seems to be a more likely destination.
Roque Santa Cruz, remember him? The 31-year-old Paraguayan was one of Mark Hughes’ first big-money buys at Manchester City for almost $26 million. But he scored just three goals in 20 games and has spent the last two seasons out on loan at Real Betis and Malaga in La Liga, scoring 15 goals in 63 games. Not bad.
So would any EPL clubs take a gamble on the South American? Maybe Cardiff or Swansea would take a look at him to help spearhead their attack. But more than likely Santa Cruz will head back to La Liga.