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Top 5 Premier League free agents this summer

It is coming to the time in the season when clubs are starting to plan for next year and one important consideration is properly sifting through those players whose contracts expire this summer to look for bargains. Below are 5 free agents to be who should be attracting plenty of interest if they make it [...]

As we enter the business end of the season, clubs are already starting to plan for next year, and one important consideration is properly sifting through those players whose contracts expire this summer to look for bargains. Below are 5 free agents to be who should be attracting plenty of interest if they make it to the market.

Frank Lampard – Chelsea
Lampard hasn't been offered a new deal yet. (Getty Images)

Lampard hasn’t been offered a new deal yet. (Getty Images)

Scout Report:

We all know what Lampard brings: goals, discipline and leadership. Since being re-deployed with a bit more offensive license by Rafa Benitez, Lampard has rediscovered the form and consistency that has characterised his stay at Chelsea. This season he seems to be scoring more important goals that he did even at his absolute peak under Jose Mourinho. He has grabbed Chelsea by the scruff of the neck and led them up to third in the table, pushing hard for second. If Chelsea really want to moniker someone captain, legend, leader; then Lampard is a fitting recipient. Notice how Chelsea’s dressing seems more harmonious when he is wearing the armband.

Why let him go?

Lampard is 34 and Chelsea are driving towards a youth re-generation. They have a deep pool of loan talent ready to return, including candidates for Lampard’s position.

Does it make sense?

No. The leadership he provides is exceptional quite aside from his own field consistency.

Where could he move to?

He should be of interest to major clubs across Europe and throughout England. Ultimately it’s hard to see him moving to another English club. He could offer something to Inter, AC Milan or Roma in Serie A for example. There has been chatter about him going to the MLS, but he has enough about him for another couple of years in the Premier League. If Chelsea do let him go it will be a bad decision.

Chris Brunt – West Bromwich Albion

Scout Report:

Brunt has been a consistently reliable player for West Brom as they have established themselves in the Premier League. He can operate anywhere across the midfield, having started as a winger and played well in a deeper lying role. He isn’t the quickest but his technical skill is excellent. He is one of the best set piece specialists in the league and has a wide range of passing. At just 28, he would be a solid investment.

Why let him go?

Brunt has drifted in and out of the side this year as Steve Clarke has gone for pacier options in advanced areas. They would have to pay him first team wages and couldn’t guarantee him game time. That isn’t how financially prudent West Brom do things.

Does it make sense?

Yes. Brunt doesn’t quite fit in to Clarke’s tactical scheme.

Where could he move to?

Brunt would be an excellent signing for Stoke or Norwich, who could both do with an injection of class and quality in advanced areas. Look out for West Ham getting involved too, Allardyce is a superb bargain hunter.

Brede Hangeland – Fulham
Brede Hangeland has been a mainstay of Fulham's backline. (Getty Images)

Brede Hangeland has been a mainstay of Fulham’s backline. (Getty Images)

Scout Report:

Big, strong, reliable. Three things that come to mind when thinking about Hangeland. He isn’t at the level he was when part of Roy Hodgson’s Europa League final side, but he is still an archetypal reliable Premier League centre half. At 31, he uses brains rather than his legs to defend.

Why let him go?

It’s a tricky one for Fulham, who are said to be talking to him. He’s at that age where his performance could nose dive and they’d be locked in to a bigger contract than they could afford.

Does it make sense?

50/50 – he’s not what he was, but Fulham would be better keeping him than trying to replace him.

Where could he move to?

Martin O’Neill needs a reliable centre-back to plug the leaks at Sunderland and Hangeland would be right up his street. A little left field, but if Swansea lose Ashley Williams, they will need to replace his ilk.

Maynor Figueroa – Wigan

Scout Report:

Figueroa is one of those guys who has been around a while and you think, ‘oh he’s pretty good, I wonder why he never moved on’. He is a decent Premier League player and can play at centre-back or left back. A little ill disciplined tactically at times, but he is physically gifted.

Why let him go?

Figueroa could get the kind of wage offer that Wigan can’t compete with.

Does it make sense?

It might be time for both to move on from each other.

Where could he move to?

He could easily end up at QPR if they stay up. If not, he would be a solid option for a newly promoted side.

Carlton Cole – West Ham United
Andy Carroll has been preferred to Carlton Cole up top. (Getty Images)

Andy Carroll has been preferred to Carlton Cole up top. (Getty Images)

Scout Report:

The great unrealised talent. When he was emerging at Chelsea, he was supposedly destined for great things. However, he has never matched consistent goal scoring with his undoubted physical gifts. He is quick and strong and has developed in to a good focal point and hold up man. Mostly utilised as a rotation option or impact sub at West Ham recently.

Why let him go?

Allardyce wants Carroll to lead his attack and it might be time for Cole to try fresh surroundings.

Does it make sense?

Yes. West Ham need an overhaul up front.

Where could he move to?

He’d be a good free pickup for Norwich, who would need some athleticism up front.

Published with permission from maxclaytonrobb.

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