The amazing XI of players who moved on a free transfer this summer
Most clubs will do everything in their power to stop a player from leaving on a free transfer. It only takes common sense to understand that a club would prefer to sell a player for a nominal fee rather than risk losing the player on a free transfer.
Take for example the case of Thibaut Courtois. The Belgian was sold for £35 million this summer when the likes of Alisson and Kepa Arrizabalaga broke the transfer record for a goalkeeper. This is because Courtois was in the final year of his contract and thus his transfer fee went down massively.
Chelsea decided to sell the player this summer rather than lose him on a free transfer next year, but not all clubs think this way. In 2013, Borussia Dortmund opted against selling Robert Lewandowski despite the player’s refusal to sign a new contract while entering the final year of his contract. Dortmund opted to retain the player’s service for another season and let him leave for free a year later.
For varied reasons, there were several free transfers in the summer. In fact, there were enough free agents to build a fantastic squad. On that note, take a look at this amazing XI comprising only of players who moved on a free transfer this summer.
Note - Claudio Marchisio, Hatem Ben Arfa, Yaya Toure, John Terry and Diego Reyes are five notable free agents who haven’t signed for any club.
Goalkeeper - Gianluigi Buffon (PSG)
Gianluigi Buffon is one of many goalkeepers to move on a free transfer this summer. The 40-year-old ended his 17-year long stint with Juventus in the summer for a new challenge.
The Italian announced his departure from Juventus with one league match left to play in the 2017/18 season. Although his contract ran longer, he was allowed to leave the club on a free transfer.
Buffon’s stint with PSG has been eventful already. He won the Trophée des Champions on his club debut, played with Timothy Weah years after playing against his father George Weah and played against Marcus Thuram, the son of his former Parma and Juventus teammate Lilian Thuram.
Honourable mentions: Pepe Reina (AC Milan), Lukáš Hrádecký (Bayer Leverkusen), Marwin Hitz (Borussia Dortmund) and Vicente Guaita (Crystal Palace)