The Real Footie Analyst

The EPL’s eight best free transfers for summer 2015

Mikel-Arteta-Arsenal1. James Milner  – Manchester City

Probably the most high-profile free agent available this summer, Milner has 15 years’ worth of top-flight experience to his name and 53 England caps. Milner is both tenacious and creative, either in the centre of midfield or out wide, and he is still a year off his 30th birthday. Arsenal and Liverpool are among the sides said to be looking at a potential deal.

2. Mathieu Flamini  – Arsenal

The 31-year-old controversially returned to the Emirates in the summer, and having made a promising start to the season, the Frenchman has spent 2015 warming the substitutes bench – leaving his future uncertain.

3. Mikel Arteta – Arsenal

Named Arsenal captain last summer, but Arteta has not played for the Gunners since November due to injury. Hard to see him displacing the in-form Francis Coquelin on his return. May be 33, but still has a good eye for a pass and is also a free-kick specialist.

4. Danny Ings  – Burnley

One of a number of young English strikers pushing for national selection after scoring nine goals for Burnley this season. Rumoured to be of interest to Manchester United and their neighbours City, as well as Liverpool.

5. Glen Johnson – Liverpool

England’s first-choice right-back at the World Cup is still a regular for Liverpool, but he looks almost certain to end his six-year spell at Anfield this summer. Johnson, who has 54 England caps, is on a bumper deal at the Merseyside club and there seems to be little appetite to keep him on the books. A move abroad has been mooted.

6. Didier Drogba – Chelsea

The Stamford Bridge legend returned to the club in the summer, and while much of his playing time has been limited to cameo appearances, the Ivorian has netted against Manchester United and Tottenham this term. Despite being a free agent in the summer, we would expect Jose Mourinho to offer the Blues hero a role with the backroom staff, if he hangs up his boots.

7. Ron Vlaar – Aston Villa

Vlaar performed so well at the World Cup that his omission from the team of the tournament raised a few eyebrows. Injury has restricted the Dutchman to 16 appearances for Villa this season. At 30, he has at least a couple of years left in him yet and will surely be courted by other top-flight teams. Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal knows him well and could do with an experienced and reliable defender.

8. Emmanuel Adebayor – Tottenham Hotspur

The Spurs forward, unbelievably, was once worth £25m after the striker sealed a switch from Arsenal to Manchester City – but such has been his downfall, largely in his reputation, that he is set to freely leave White Hart Lane at the end of the season.

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