There are still quality players out there for top-flight clubs to sign after the transfer deadline.
The transfer window might have pulled the shutters down until January but there are still a raft of players still on the market should Premier League require further reinforcements.
Although you won’t find Manchester United or Chelsea scouring the scrapheap for discarded talent that would readily appeal to mid-table clubs and recently promoted sides, managers are still able to sign free agents after the transfer deadline has passed.
As ever, there are enough footballers currently mired in unemployment to fill a starting XI but how many can still cut the top-flight mustard? Luckily fanatix has compiled a rundown on the top five players still available-for-hire.
1. Craig Gordon
Despite once being the most expensive Premier League goalkeeper in history, following a £9.5 million move from Rangers to Sunderland in 2007, Gordon finds himself without a club after a succession of injuries ruined his five-year stint on Wearside.
Released in 2012 the former Scotland number one has been cursed by an inability to remain fit for a sustained period and has struggled to find employment since leaving the Stadium of Light, briefly training with Rangers, with an extensive medical likely to be a prerequisite of any potential deal.
That being said it would be remiss of a manager, particularly one of a club seeking experience in the goalkeeper ranks, to overlook Gordon’s talent and at 30 his young in goalkeeping terms.
2. Yossi Benayoun
Having turned out for West Ham, Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal during his career, Benayoun has accrued a wealth of Premier League knowledge to ally with his dazzling array of tricks and industrious work ethic.
Time may be catching up on the 33-year-old but he is still a competent top-flight player and any manager looking to add some experience and guile to his dressing room would be half-baked not to consider the Israeli international. He’d be worth his weight in gold.
3. William Gallas
Not many players can vouch that they’ve represented three of London’s leading Premier League clubs during their career; but Gallas can.
The 36-year-old won three titles and a League Cup in five years at Chelsea before moving to Arsenal and then Tottenham, from whom he released in the summer, and further establishing a reputation as one of best defenders in the top-flight.
Even though he is coming towards the end of his career Gallas still retains an unteachable knack of reading the game, while his power in the air and pace come in handy as well, and he would be a huge asset to any club crying out for a leader at the back.
4. Carlton Cole
An obvious choice but Cole does have Premier League pedigree having chanced his hand at no less than five top-flight clubs, although only two have been on a permanent basis. Coincidentally both are based in London.
But the last seven seasons the 29-year-old has made his name at West Ham and earning England honours, almost becoming part of the furniture at Upton Park until his release earlier this summer. A return to the Hammers was aborted this week after the club questioned his fitness meaning he is still up for grabs for a manager looking to strengthen his attacking arsenal.
5. Jay Bothroyd
It’s highly unlikely Bothroyd will reflect on his two-year stay at QPR. Although he struggled for games and goals at Loftus Road the 31-year-old still has the qualities to succeed at Premier League level.
Bothroyd proved at Cardiff that he knows where the goal is, winning a call-up to the England squad during Fabio Capello’s tenure, and would be an idea option from the bench for a promoted club seeking an experienced striker to provide some cunning at the pinnacle of their attack.