Free transfer XI
The Premier League free transfer list has been released and there are some big names on it. If you're short of a few quid but can pay a decent wage there are some bargains to be had. Tom McDermott picks his best free transfer XI...
By Tom McDermott
Last Updated: 07/06/13 6:14pm
Free transfer select XI
The former Middlesbrough and Bradford City goalkeeper leaves Fulham after five years at the club. The giant Australian has played in England since 1996 after a spell with Kaiserslautern in Germany. Schwarzer has over 100 caps for the national side and has ruled out a return to Australia to play in their A-League. Now 40, Schwarzer made over 36 appearances in the Premier League last season and is certainly capable of playing on for another two seasons. Dominant in the air and a good shot stopper, one of the promoted sides may look to use his experience in the coming campaign.
Like Schwarzer, Kilgallon could be a useful signing for any of the newly promoted clubs. The former England Under-21 international has made less than 25 first-team appearances for the Black Cats since signing for the club in 2010 but having learnt his trade at the same Leeds United academy as Jonathan Woodgate and Ian Harte, Kilgallon certainly possesses enough ability to play at the highest level. Injuries in recent years may have affected Kilgallon's pace but he has shown at times for Sunderland that he is still capable of reading the game and if given a consistent run can cause problems from set-pieces at the other end of the pitch.
The former Arsenal, Chelsea and Tottenham man might not always be welcomed back to his former clubs with open arms by the supporters but when he represented the sides he certainly didn't let them down. Gallas is seen by many as a controversial figure but there is no denying his quality on the pitch, even as he approaches his 36th birthday. What Gallas lacks on the ground, he certainly makes up for in his head and his ability to organise and read the game at high speed should not be underestimated. If a talented former international is what you are looking for who has the medals to back it up then Gallas is your man.
It wasn't long ago that Upson was playing and scoring at the World Cup for England. And, only last season he was part of a Brighton side that just failed to make the Championship play-off final at Wembley. Upson still has plenty to offer and at 34 will probably interest most sides from the bottom half of the Premier League to the top half of the Championship. You don't turn into a bad player overnight and Upson showed while on-loan at Brighton that he still has the desire to fight for a place in the Premier League. The former Arsenal man's strength is his power in the air and his ability to drop in at right full-back if required.
Baird was signed during the summer of 2007 following an outstanding season with Southampton, a year which saw him named the Saints' Player of the Season for his impressive displays at centre-back. The Northern Ireland defender has been a consistent performer for Fulham making over 125 appearances since and has held his own when he has come up against some of the other superstars in the league. With over 60 caps for the Northern Irish team he is sure to feature for one Premier League side during the 2013/14 season.
Bentley has struggled to find form since his big money move to Tottenham Hotspur in 2008. The midfielder wasn't part of Andre Villas-Boas's plans last season either and opted to go out on loan to Russian club FC Rostov in order to play first-team football. A number of Premier League clubs are believed to be monitoring Bentley's situation and he has recently been linked with West Brom, West Ham and newly relegated Wigan Athletic. When on form Bentley has the ability to score and create goals from wide and central areas. He has represented England seven times.
The 30-year-old will start his search for a new club after making 24 appearances for West Ham last season. O'Neil is renowned for his work rate and accuracy from set pieces and there is bound to be no shortage of suitors. O'Neil started his career at Portsmouth and will be remembered fondly by the West Ham faithful as a vital member of the side which secured promotion back to the Premier League last season. The midfielder has been linked with Reading and Hull City in recent weeks but is thought to prefer a move to a side in the south of England.
After spending the majority of the season training with Chelsea's youth team Malouda is arguably the stand out name on the list. The French international who has 80 caps has also won the Premier League, FA Cup three times and the Champions League. Malouda is capable of playing out wide and through the middle and has scored over 30 goals for the London club. With experience throughout some of Europe's major competitions and at only 32 years of age the former Lyon man could help out any side who has one eye on European qualification next year.
The Mali international who once joined Real Madrid for over £22 million and was chased by some of the other biggest clubs in Europe has struggled with fitness since arriving at Fulham. At his best, Diarra would dominate midfield and was capable of breaking up opposition attacks and playing killer balls to team-mates in goal scoring positions. It would appear that his box-to-box days are behind him but if he can regain some of his old fitness then he should be able to offer protection in front of a back four somewhere pretty soon. It would be a great shame if Diarra couldn't perform at the highest level for at least one more year.
After seven years at West Ham United and seven England caps, Cole has already been linked with a host of Championship clubs including Leeds United. Tall and powerful, Cole is capable of causing problems for some of the best defenders in the Premier League and if he is given a consistent run of games will surely add goals to whichever team he decides to join. Cole has found it hard to gain a regular position in the West Ham staring XI this year due to Andy Carroll's arrival from Liverpool and Kevin Nolan's fine form. But, it is worth remembering that Cole played his part in getting West Ham out of the Championship during the 2011/12 campaign.
Roque Santa Cruz
The Paraguay international who scored goals for fun at Blackburn Rovers and was rewarded with a big-money move to Manchester City has spent the majority of his time at the Etihad Stadium on the bench or away on-loan. What Santa Cruz does possess is goals and when he starts he is likely to score. After spending last season with Spanish side Malaga he is odds on to join the club on a permanent basis. But, Premier League managers will remember his record while in the Premier League with Blackburn and that the is capable of finishing when presented with chances.
To read the Premier League release list in full click here.