Even though the transfer window was closed, Karl Darlow’s injury forced Newcastle United to tap into the free agent market to sign former Liverpool goalkeeper Loris Karius. The Magpies even showed interest in Ben Foster before the former England international announced his retirement from football.
Karius acts as assistant to Nick Pope and Newcastle’s decision to sign him shows just how important the free agent market can be in helping clubs build their squads.
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There are a host of former Premier League players who are currently without a club – some having recently played for top-flight sides and others having lit up the league in years past but now find themselves in the twilight of their career.
Here we take a look at eight of the most recognizable free agents – including two former Premier League winners and a Newcastle United ‘cult hero’:
Willems graced the Premier League for just six months while on loan at Newcastle United but became a fan favorite during his time at the club. The goals against Liverpool and Manchester City will live long in the memory of Magpies fans.
Lennon can count Everton, Burnley, Tottenham Hotspur and Leeds United among the clubs he has represented in a career that spans almost two decades. The winger was released by the Clarets this summer.
Drinkwater was a central part of the Leicester City side that won the Premier League in 2015/16 – earning him a move to Stamford Bridge. However, his spell at Chelsea was not too successful and after spells at Aston Villa, Reading and Kasimpasa, the midfielder remains without a club.
Another casualty of Burnley’s revolution under Vincent Kompany is Vydra who also found himself released this summer. Vydra is currently recovering from a serious knee injury which ended his season prematurely last campaign.
For two seasons Pelle played for Southampton and scored some memorable goals before leaving for the riches of China. The 37-year-old has been a free agent for over a year since leaving Italian side Parma.
Izquierdo played a huge role in helping Brighton secure their Premier League status in their first few seasons in the top flight. The Colombian struggled for time under Graham Potter and headed to Belgium on a free transfer in 2021. He only lasted one season before being released by Club Brugge.
The former Premier League winner was released by Bournemouth this summer after a season with the club. His previous clubs include Bolton Wanderers, Crystal Palace, Aston Villa and of course a hugely successful spell with Chelsea which saw him lift the Champions League and Premier League trophies.
Hatem Ben Arfa
The ultimate ‘the streets won’t forget’ player, Ben Arfa was one of the most exciting players to grace the Premier League during his four years at Tyneside. Ben Arfa’s highlight reel is among the best ever in the top flight, but he is now a free agent after leaving Lille in Ligue 1 in the summer.