Contract negotiations are always tricky and there are often some real bargains available on a free transfer each summer. But, with the 2019/20 season on hold, and likely to go on beyond 30th June, John Barnes takes a look at those who may be out of contract before the season’s end, naming his best ‘Out of Contract XI’.
JOE HART (GK)
He’s still hungry and has a point to prove. He’s got the experience – he is an ex-England goalkeeper and still has ability at 32 years old. While you have others like Heurelho Gomes, if you’re going to take any of the ‘keepers who are out of contract, he’d be the one.
TIMOTHY FOSU-MENSAH (RB)
MANCHESTER UNITED (ON LOAN AT FULHAM)
He is at a decent age. Normally out of contract players are over 30, which is why they’re out of contract. You’d like to get a player like him – he’s a decent right back, so I’m going to have to play Nathaniel Clyne at left back.
JAPHET TANGANGA (CB)
I’m surprised to hear Tanganga is out of contract because he’s done really well recently. Of course, they wouldn’t have known much about him until the last six months, but to do what he’s done in the last six months, I’m sure that situation will be resolved.
JAN VERTONGHEN (CB)
He may be 32 but he’s still a good player. His contract has still been run down for different reasons, other than not being offered a contract. His experience alongside Tanganga would make for a strong back four.
NATHANIEL CLYNE (LB)
He has good experience and good quality. He’s an ex-international player and you don’t normally get players of that quality in this day and age being out of contract.
NAMPALYS MENDY (DM)
Once again, someone at a good age. You need some steel in there and strength, and he’s got good defensive ability. With the work rate of Willian and Fraser, we don’t need another defensive midfielder.
He’s a player who has done really well for Chelsea this year and for some reason his contract has been allowed to run down. He’s 31, but he’s still fit, and he’s got great quality. He has the right attitude every time I’ve seen him play.
RYAN FRASER (LM)
His contract’s being rundown not because he’s not good or he’s too old – just for the very fact that he could be looking for more money, which he knows he can get elsewhere.
ADAM LALLANA (AM)
He has great ability and good experience. His work ethic is exemplary under Jurgen Klopp. So, he will work hard defensively, but also be very creative coming forward.
SHANE LONG (CF)
He’s 33 but is fit, works hard and is strong. He holds the ball up well, creates chances and scores important goals.
OLIVIER GIROUD (CF)
He’s a World Cup winner and he’s got experience. There may be better technical strikers than him, but he has value as a centre forward in terms of holding the ball up, scoring important goals and bringing people into play.
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