With the chaos (or lack thereof) of the January transfer window now ended by Thursday’s 11pm deadline, February is a time of bedding in new faces ahead of the second half of the season.
But, if there are no new faces to bed in, or not enough, then fear not. Because there’s still a happy few (well maybe not happy) left on the shelf, who would cost your side absolutely nothing.
Here are the 11 most exciting free agents that your club could still snap up:
1. Patrice Evra
Last seen at West Ham United at the back end of last season, when he played an impressive FIVE games for the Hammers, Patrice Evra, the ultimate chemistry guy, is STILL on the market.
Sure, he slaps and licks raw chicken in his spare time, and has kicked his fair share of fans in recent years, but cmon, it’s Patrice Evra. Who wouldn’t want to walk into training on a gloomy Monday morning and bump into this guy?
2. Yohan Cabaye
A classy, classy operator on his day, Yohan Cabaye has been without a club for a couple of weeks now, after his former side Al-Nasr gave him the boot in the middle of January.
At 33 years of age, the Frenchman could surely still marshall a midfield if he was coaxed back to full fitness. We’re looking at you Newcastle. He’s basically the older, slightly less successful, slightly less controversial version of Samir Nasri. If that hasn’t sold him, I don’t know what will.
3. Stephane Mbia
I won’t have a bad thing said about this guy. Quality player. Sure, he’s had his ups and downs, and isn’t the most consistent footballer on the planet, but on song, he’s a joy to watch.
After an emotional return to France last summer following stints in Seville and China, Mbia has just been released by Toulouse. Well, their loss. Where are you, West Ham? There’s another unreliable, mercurial, somewhat injury prone midfielder just sitting there…What are you waiting for?!?!
4. Yaya Toure
Ok, so if you weren’t convinced by Stephane, then suuuuurely a seasoned winner like Yaya Toure will satisfy you’re desire for a past-his-prime midfielder.
At just 35 years old, Yaya still has couple of months, maybe even years, left in his legs yet. Last seen at Olympiacos, where he managed a solid five outings, he also made an impressive turn at Soccer Aid in a midfield pivot with Gordon Ramsey. Tasty option, if you ask me.
5. Florentin Pogba
Ok, if none of the other midfielders have caught your eye, then surely, suuuurely, a World Cup holding 28-year-old will suffice? Florentin Pogba: he’s in his prime, he’s French, he’s held the World Cup trophy – hell, he’s even dabbed next to it.
What other requirements do you need? You better hurry though, he’s on his way to Atlanta United as we speak. But, if your club does get him, they better make the most of him, because otherwise they’re needlessly robbing the world of an inevitable Pogba brothers X Migos collab.
6. Younes Kaboul
Ok, so you’ve chosen your ethereal midfielder, but now you need a sturdy centre half. Well, may I present you with a former Tottenham captain. Younes Kaboul, of Spurs and Sunderland fame, was last spotted in Watford, before he departed the club in December 2018 through ‘mutual consent’.
He’s a former French international with a goalscoring ratio of one in five (literally, one goal in five caps), and can even settle in at right back if need be. At 33, he’s got some fight in him yet, I’m sure of it, and you wont be wanting for entertainment.
7. Jakub Blaszczykowski
Jakub Blaszczykowski. No I didn’t copy and paste his name from Google. How dare you. Anyway, you remember him? Borussia Dortmund stalwart, Bundesliga winner, Champions League finalist, seasoned Polish international with a staggering 105 caps (and 21 goals!) etc etc.
Another 33-year-old (I’m starting to sense a real prejudice against this age group), Jakub Blaszczykowski (no I didn’t use his full name because I just pasted it again) was last seen lighting up the right flank at Wolfsburg, but was inexplicably cut this month after playing, well 19 minutes of football. But…I bet he’s still good. I mean, how many goals has your right back/midfielder scored for Poland? Exactly.
8. Ibrahim Afellay
Woahhhh, this guy has pedigree. PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona, Olympiacos and Stoke City make up his career path thus far. The dream!
But now, at just 32 (not 33!) he’s looking for a new challenge. I say he’s 32, but he still looks 18, and he plays like it too, I’m assured. Yes, he’s ethereal and hasn’t done much in the Potteries, but that was then, this is now. To paraphrase Pierce Brosnan when he was crooning out ABBA, “Take a chance on him.”
9. Emmanuel Emenike
Emmanuel Emenike, yes Emmanuel Emenike, has been without a club since July 2018. WTF! Do you not see the Champions League badge in that photo? Do you not see the prestigious Italian club that he’s playing against?
Do you not realise the pedigree? He is – wait for it – 31. T H I R T Y O N E. That’s years younger than most of these washed up 33-year-old’s. Do it.
10. Giuseppe Rossi
Dubbed the ‘Man Utd Hero’ by the Manchester Evening News recently, that is how Giuseppe Rossi will be explicitly know as from this day forward.
Of course, the Man Utd Hero started his career at Manchester United, before storied spells at Villarreal, Fiorentina and a load of others. Yes, the Man Utd Hero is maybe, probably, allegedly a drugs cheat – but he’s an uncharged one. And anyway, that hasn’t stopped you before, has it West Ham? No. And guess what, he’s one year bellow the dreaded 33.
11. Dimitar Berbatov
Look, you can have a 27-year-old Jordon Mutch if you’re really worried about Dimitar Berbatov’s 38 years of age, but then where’s the fun in that?
Has Berba played top level football in the last two years? Well, no, not really. Is he fit? Almost certainly not. Could he score the couple of worldies that you will need to take you out of trouble? Almost certainly.