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The 5 Best Free Transfers of the 21st Century

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Liverpool v Hull City - Premier League
Milner has been a wonderful signing for Liverpool

The transfer window is fast approaching its deadline. Apart from the English clubs, all other teams are still in the market looking for players who could strengthen them.

The transfer window of 2018 has been no different to its predecessors. Clubs across the globe have splashed the cash to acquire their dream targets. The arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo in Turin sent shock-waves throughout the world and is the most expensive signing of the summer till date.

The transfer window, however, is a very tricky environment where the quantum of investment doesn’t always equate to the returns obtained. Fernando Torres and Angel Di Maria are examples of players who failed to justify their price-tag. Over the years, there have also been several occasions where the returns have been exponentially higher than the investment made. Through the course of this article, we would look at some of these players.

As a tribute to the shrewdness portrayed, I have compiled a list of the 5 best free transfers in the 21st century. The players considered are those that have been signed on a free transfer, thus ignoring those who have shifted bases on swap deals.

Without wasting further time, let us look at the best free transfers of this century:

#5 James Milner (Manchester City to Liverpool)

James Milner was signed by Klopp in the summer of 2015 after the former refused to commit to Manchester City. Though he had a slow start at Anfield, he has now established himself as their midfield general.

Milner had a sensational Champions League campaign last time out and ended up with the most number of assists, en route Liverpool’s charge to the final. In addition to this, he lent solidity and was a calming influence in midfield after the departure of Coutinho.

Milner’s biggest attribute is his versatility. He can play as a winger, as a holding midfielder or even as a fullback. Hence, he is a manager’s delight and it comes as no surprise that Klopp absolutely loves him.

With Liverpool planning an assault on the title this term, Milner will have a crucial role to play. A player of his calibre would easily have been worth 25-30m in today’s market. Liverpool pulled a rabbit out of the hat when they signed him for free in the market. Therefore, he slots in at No.5 on our list.

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