Which Premier League Players Were Released?
Summer is here and transfer market opens! Fans expect new arrivals and hope their team gets rid off some of the dead wood. This year is particularly "woody" and many even well-established players were released. This is a perfect opportunity for lower tier teams to snatch some talent but what if you were assigned a task to start a new club and compete in the next year of English Premier League but you will have to make your team only from the released players?
I decided to take on this hypothetical task and came up with the best starting 11 from released Premier League Players. For anybody who is down for this challenge here is the official premier league list of released players. To simplify the whole hiring process I do not worry about the salaries and assume that each player I pick will want to sign in and play in Premier League again!
Before I start with calling all the scouts I need to come up with a great name for my team. Since most of my players are not really dead wood but rather underappreciated for their salary or age requirements I decided to call my team "The Avengers". It sounds more like a team that would make it in MLS but oh well... The Avengers it is.
In order to keep things simple, I will choose a simple line up 4-4-2 that will clearly become a tad more hybrid when necessary
Best Starting 11 from Released Premier League Players + Subs
The Best Released Goalkeeper
The ideal choice would be the Czech veteran Peter Cech but since he is retiring and continuing his football venture in Chelsea he is not available. Therefore, I decided to pick a keeper with the highest transfer market value, Adrián. A former West Ham United keeper, 32, is experienced enough to finally get his chance to become the starting keeper.
As Adrián's back up I would go with Liverpool's, Hungarian Adam Bogdan, many Liverpool fans will be surprised that he is still in Liverpool after his horrific performances from a few years ago, but he had enough time to learn something from Alisson Becker in the last year, which makes him the perfect backup!
The Best Released Defenders
As for defense, I will start in the following order: LB-CB-CB-RB. If possible I will also try to get a decent backup. I decided to go with the conventional 4 to assure we can hire players comfortable with their position.
For my LB I decided to give a call to Alberto Moreno's manager who gladly accepted my offer to join "The Avengers" team. Since there were no other LB released Moreno, 26, needs to stay fit for the rest of the season and as Liverpool FC fans know that may be a big issue. That being said Alberto Moreno is still among the fastest players in Premier League. In 2015/16 season, that was the last season when he played regularly before James Milner had to step up in the LB his maximum speed was 34.88 km/h. That ain't bad for a fullback.
When it comes to becoming a defensive cornerstone we have a great plethora of players that were released this summer and could perfectly fit our team needs. Since none of these players are spring chickens their knowledge of the game will be what we will have to rely on. Probably the most surprising release when it comes to defenders was Gary Cahill, 33. At a time one of the most sought after defender in the whole league. Chelsea loss our win! Cahill will be a great signing for any team that needs defensive reinforcement. Ideal for as and any mid-table EPL team.
The next two center backs that will join our team will come from Everton - Phil Jagielka, 36, and Ashley Williams, 34, had a tremendous career in Premier League and would be amazing players for lower-table teams. Their knowledge of the game can help us and any lower-table team to fight for their place in the Premier League.
Our number one choice no questions asked would be Manchester United's captain, Antonio Valencia, 33. He may not be the fastest or the most physical RB in the league anymore but he still has a lot to offer to a mid-table team. He will be a great asset! Arsenal's veteran Stephan Lichsteiner, 35, will be a great back up in case Valencia would be unavailable.
The Best Released Midfield
Since I decided to conventional 4-4-2 I will look for players that play on LM-CM-CAM-CDM-RM positions. This should give us enough options to get the best-released players that could strengthen our club and help us to compete in EPL.
Our Left Midfielder will be a player that has been seen as one of the hottest prospects at the time, he played for Arsenal, Manchester City, and Sevilla in the past. Now released by his latest employer Samir Nasri, 32, will get a chance to show his potential once again.
The best-released midfielder that we could sign is Ander Herrera, 29. There is no question that Herrera will find a club very quickly, whether, in Premier League or La Liga, player of his potential has many more years ahead of him. Thus, Herrera's decision to join The Avengers team was a bit of a surprise for me as well! He will be a great CM that can play box-to-box or in more of a CDM role if we need to make any adjustments in our line up.
Herrera's partner in crime will be Newcastle United's Mohamed Diamé, 32. Similar to Herrera in his play style Diamé can operate in CDM-CM role. These two midfielders can provide enough cover for our aging defense and at the same time help our attacking wingers and forwards.
Jack Colback, 29, will be a great midfield sub for the experienced starting players.
Jason Puncheon, 33, from Crystal Palace is my right midfielder position choice. Puncheon has scored more than a few remarkable goals in his EPL career and he is still not ready to quit. It's true that Puncheon didn't have his best season in Crystal Palace in 2018/19 but he can still be a valuable asset for lower-table EPL or Championship team, his days are not over yet.
The Best Released Forwards
Since our formation dictates that we should have two natural forwards it was very difficult to pick the two most prominent players that would fit those spots. There are so many options to choose from this summer. So many well known and successful forwards were released.
My decision came down to these two plus a backup. Danny Welbeck who was released from Arsenal and Daniel Sturridge from Liverpool. Yes, both of these players are very injury prone but when fit they are both exceptional attackers. When it comes to back up I longed pondered between Shiji Okazaki and Andy Carroll. Okazaki was critical for Leicester when they won their Premier League Title and Andy Carroll despite being at the downfall was the most expensive Liverpool signing.
So my decision is... Andy Carroll. The reason why I decided to go with Carroll was that he is much more physical and can provide different playstyle if needed. Okazaki falls into a similar category of strikers as Welbeck and Sturridge.
So there you have it I picked my best starting 11 from released Premier League players.
Valencia - Cahill - Jagielka - Moreno
Puncheon - Diamé - Herrera - Nasri
Welbeck - Sturridge
There you have it. I picked my best starting 11 from released Premier League players. Now it's up to you to do the same! Please let me know in comments below or on social media if you agree or disagree with my choices and share with me your best 11 and the subs! Read more Premier League news on Soccer Talk Line