One problem that came from the Premier League Coronavirus break is that many player’s contracts, both loan and permanent, were set to run out on June 30th or July 1st, making them either free agents or forcing them to return to their parent club.
For these players, plus those in other leagues like Ligue 1, Serie A and the Bundesliga, it means that they never got to play a final game in front of their own fans. For some, who have extended their contract short-term, it even meant winning the title without being able to do it in front of the fans that have supported them for many years.
Millsy’s View has taken a look into these players and built a final XI, and it is a team that would win many a game, should they have ever been given a chance.
Willian has been a stalwart on Chelsea’s right wing for the last 7 years now, clocking up over 300 appearances for the club and winning trophies both at home and in Europe during that time. He is just 31 years of age and is still absolutely rapid going down that right hand side so could definitely still be of use to somebody.
In recent days, he has been heavily linked with Manchester United or Arsenal, both of whom could probably use some backup on the wings to strengthen their depth. Willian may well be happy to play second fiddle these days to the likes of Rashford, James or Greenwood and could offer some very valuable experience.
This must be one of the biggest free agents going on the market, as well as Matty Longstaff, who I profiled in the previous post. Ryan Fraser was an absolute class act last season in the Premier League, so much so that there were serious rumours of him moving to Arsenal that, in the end, never materialised.
This season, he has seemed to be affected by the uncertainty of these rumours, as his form has taken a stumble that have surely heavily contributed to AFC Bournemouth’s poor fortunes. However, last season fans got a glimpse of exactly what Fraser can do and, at just 26 years of age, he could still make the step up to a bigger club, Tottenham Hotspur are one of those named as a potential destination.
Finally, we reach the striker role and this time it is the turn of the beast, Edinson Cavani. He was heavily linked with a move to Manchester United in January, before they went for Odion Ighalo. At 33 years old, Cavani is probably reaching the end of the period where he is at the height of his powers, but on the pitch he can still prove to be tenacious.
Recent rumours have linked him with a move to Inter Milan or a return to Napoli, so a return to Serie A from Ligue 1 where he felt so comfortable could be on the cards. I think that Cavani would be a great catch for any team playing in Europe and that he still has a couple of good years in him yet.
How many attackers get released from their contracts every year? It’s a role where the numbers often dominate proceedings, and if you haven’t got the statistics to show your productivity, the chances are you’ll be the first to be sold.
This means that, in this category, there were many options that I could’ve chosen from, Artem Dzyuba of Zenit St. Petersburg and captain of the Russian National Football Team is one option. Jose Callejon of Napoli is another, or even that of Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who is sadly leaving Paris-Saint Germain after his trophy-laden spell there. The point is, there were many to pick from in this category, but I’m happy with the first XI that I chose, as it is an attack that would be deadly, even in the Premier League.