5 of the best free agents still available after Transfer Deadline Day

Yaya Toure
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THE WINDOW MAY HAVE CLOSED BUT FREE AGENTS ARE STILL UP FOR GRABS

On Thursday night the first transfer window of 2019 slammed shut and it was significantly quieter than normal. 'Only' £180m was shelled out by Premier League clubs on new talent which is the first time that the overall figure has dropped since 2012 - a far cry from the massive £430m spent just twelve months ago. Chelsea's capture of Borussia Dortmund forward Christian Pulisic (£55m) counted for almost a third of the total outlay which alone tells you how much fees have dropped off.

January is known for being notoriously difficult to complete deals with clubs demanding mega fees for their stars, so some clubs opt to dip into the free agent market. Not having to deal with clubs makes these players very appealing with the financial burden significantly smaller & we've seen a couple of high profile deals get over the line in 2019.

Samir Nasri (West Ham) and Ashley Cole (Derby) both returned to English football last month after being unattached and despite the window slamming shut on Thursday evening, Premier League clubs are still permitted to add free agents to their ranks. There's a number of big names still without a club so some top flight managers may be tempted to dip their toes in the water after missing out on their January targets. We've assessed them and listed what we believe are 5 of the best free agents still up for grabs - think your club should take a punt on one of them? Tweet your thoughts to us @FootyAccums!

YAYA TOURE

The first name on our list is perhaps the most high profile in Yaya Toure. This man needs no introduction after a glittering career which has seen him win plenty of major silverware at Barcelona and Manchester City but now at the age of 35 he finds himself without a club. He may not be the dominant force that he once was back in his prime but he still has something to offer for sure, it's just finding the right team to join.

After leaving Manchester City last summer he re-joined former club Olympiakos in a short lived spell which saw him play just twice, meaning he's now a free agent. Toure hasn't hid his desire to return back to the top flight but if he's to do that he will certainly have to take a pay cut, which is something that stopped him getting a PL move when his City contract originally expired.

Yaya Toure
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PATRICE EVRA

Someone who's been waiting for a long time for a new club is former Manchester United man Patrice Evra who at the age of 38, is still keen to be involved in the game. Back in his heyday he was one of (if not the) best left backs in the world but things are very different now. He's been without a club since a brief spell with West Ham United at the back end of last season which saw him feature just 5 times, so it's pretty fair to say that he's lacking in match sharpness.

He will be keen to move back to the Premier League but again, wage demands and his performances for the Hammers last term may play a part in that being difficult to achieve. But what may make him appealing to managers is the wealth of experience he has under his belt which could have a positive impact in the dressing room and younger players, so it will be interesting to see if anyone decides to take a punt on him.

Patrice Evra

YOHAN CABAYE

Another player on the wrong side of 30 but one with plenty to offer is Yohan Cabaye, who's available on a free transfer after his contract at UAE based club Al-Nasr was terminated earlier this month. Cabaye is another man who'll be known to followers of the Premier League after stints at both Crystal Palace and more so Newcastle United - where his sublime performances earned him a massive £22m move to PSG. During his time at St. James' Park he established himself as one of the top flights best midfielders but on his return with Palace he struggled to replicate the same consistency.

He left the Eagles last summer for the UAE but now he's available for free and he's someone that may interest clubs in the lower reaches of the Premier League. Again, he will command a significant wage but with no transfer fee and a couple of decent years still potentially left on the clock, he could prove to be a shrewd acquisition on a short term contract.

yohan cabaye

GIUSEPPE ROSSI

It seems bizarre to think that Guiseppe Rossi is only 31 years of age, but the American born Italy international is a free agent and someone who could interest a lot of clubs. He broke through into the Manchester United first team at the age of 17 and was tipped for big things, but it just didn't happen in England. But in Spain and Italy he managed to achieve a fair bit of success with Villarreal and Fiorentina, ending his time at both clubs with very respectable goalscoring records. But Rossi's career is one very much full of what could've beens - he's been the unfortunate victim to a host of injury problems that have stopped him going on to bigger things which is incredibly frustrating.

But now he's back on the road to recovery and approaching match fitness, something which his former club United have helped out with by welcoming back to their Aon training complex to step up his rehabilitation. He's ready for his next challenge and he's someone that could make a real impression if he can stay fit, we'd expect him to move to Serie A but after training back in Manchester there's no reason why he wouldn't move to the Premier League - this is one to look out for.

Giuseppe Rossi

IBRAHIM AFELLAY

The final part of our 5 man selection is someone who recently entered the free agent market, Ibrahim Afellay. Similar to Giuseppe Rossi, he's another man who's struggled with his fair share of injury woes but his playing CV is something that stands him in incredibly good stead. He's been on the books of PSV Eindhoven, Barcelona, Schalke and most recently Stoke City - where on deadline day he ended his 4 year stay. His wages were too substantial for the Potters following their relegation to the Championship back in January but he's someone who'd be easily attainable for Premier League sides.

Afellay may be 32 years-old but he's still a classy player to have in your side. He's a versatile midfielder who can play on either flank or through the middle as a #10 which led to him being a real fans favourite at the bet365 Stadium when he was fit and firing. Now available for no transfer fee, he's an attractive option and we're sure he won't be short offers.

Ibrahim Afellay

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