Introducing The Sportsman Out Of Contract Premier League XI

How do you think this squad would get on in the Premier League?
12:00, 28 May 2023

As we inch closer to the end of the season, some players are preparing for an uncertain future. As the season-by-season nature of the typical contract dictates, hundreds of players across the game are currently facing the end of their tenure at their current club.

Some big name players currently find themselves without a team to play for next season. In order to demonstrate the serious talent on offer and because we love a challenge, The Sportsman has compiled an entire matchday squad from Premier League players who are out of contract this summer.


Some of those listed are already strongly linked with moves elsewhere. Others are expected to come to an agreement to remain at their current teams. But each player’s contract is due to 

GK: David De Gea

The Spain custodian won the Premier League Golden Gloves with two games of the season remaining, having racked up an unassailable 16 clean sheets. Yet a large contingent of Red Devils supporters are keen to see the back of him due to horror shows like the 7-0 loss to Liverpool and his rather basic distribution. Reportedly, manager Erik ten Hag does not share these sentiments and is looking to sign his shot-stopper to a contract extension.

RB: Serge Aurier

The Nottingham Forest full back only signed a one-year deal when he became part of the vast swathe of talent to join the club last summer. The ex-Spurs defender is reportedly minded to stay given the fact Forest have stayed in the Premier League. Whoever lands Aurier, whether it’s his current club or a team potentially hijacking the deal, is getting an experienced international who has Champions League pedigree.

CB: Daniel Amartey

Talks have been ongoing since winter 2022 to extend the Leicester City centre back’s deal. As of now though he will be free to move on at the end of June. Amartey was limited to just 20 Premier League appearances this season, but he did find form in the new year. If the Foxes go down, one would expect a Premier League club to take a look at him.

CB: Phil Jones

It’s the end of an era at Manchester United as one of just two players to win the Premier League at the club is set to leave. Injuries have destroyed the career of the once-promising England defender. Jones has not got into double figures for appearances in a season since 2018/19. Hopefully Jones can get a couple of solid seasons in at some level before retirement considering everything he’s been through.


LB: Ryan Bertrand

A Champions League winner with Chelsea, Bertrand is still plying his trade over a decade after he started that victory over Bayern Munich. The left back didn’t get onto the pitch for Leicester City this season owing to a long-term knee injury. But the 33-year-old did make his comeback for the under-21s, meaning that Bertrand could interest a club looking for proven experience for a reasonable price.

CM: N’Golo Kante

The France international has reportedly attracted interest from Barcelona, who have made contact with the player’s representatives. You can see why given their financial peril and the mix of culture and energy he still offers in midfield. Like many on this list, injuries have held him back this season. But the World Cup winner and two-time Premier League champion is bound for one more big move before his playing days are done.

CM: Youri Tielemans

Tielemans has been a long-term target for the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal. The Leicester City midfielder’s waning influence at the King Power has probably put paid to that interest, but Newcastle United and AS Roma are reportedly eyeing him up. Still only 26, there is no doubt Tielemans can be the creative jewel in someone’s crown this summer. . 

CM: Ilkay Gundogan

Only at Manchester City could one of the club’s best players be available on a free because he’s not guaranteed a starting place. Gundogan would be the finest player at many of the world’s top clubs, but at 32 years of age he’s not understood to be a priority at the Etihad. With title challengers Arsenal apparently looking to swoop in, this could end up being one of the more interesting deals of the summer window.

SM News Adama Traore 04jpg

RW: Adama Traore

Baby oil sales are about to plummet in the greater Wolverhampton area. Adama Traore and his heavily-lubricated muscles are set to pack up and leave the Molineux as the speedster’s contract expires. The rapid winger has often been accused of being inconsistent, which might explain the erratic nature of the interest in him. Serie A champions Napoli and relegation candidates Leeds United are understood to be at the front of the queue.

LW: Wilfried Zaha

As much a part of the Premier League as the grass and the ball at this point, the sight of Crystal Palace lining up without Wilfried Zaha will be incredibly surreal. The Ivory Coast winger has been an ever-present at the club for over a decade, apart from a brief flirtation with Manchester United. But he’ll likely be plying his trade elsewhere next season and while he won’t command the big six interest he once did, the explosive attacker still has plenty to offer.

ST: Roberto Firmino

Liverpool’s beloved ‘Bobby’ closed his Anfield account with a dramatic late equaliser against Aston Villa. The next part of the legendary Firmino-Salah-Mane trio to depart, his departure looked on the cards when the club signed Cody Gakpo and Darwin Nunez last summer. Still only 31 and having notched a respectable 10 goals in 24 Premier League games this season, there will be no shortage of suitors for Firmino.

Bench: Loris Karius, Yerry Mina, Joel Veltman, Naby Keita, James Milner, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lucas Moura, Jesse Lingard, Diego Costa

A Liverpool dominated raft of substitutes as Jurgen Klopp engineers a bit of a clearout after a disappointing season. Jesse Lingard can run the dressing room playlist. Diego Costa as the enforcer. James Milner to do the ironing.

Manager: Sam Allardyce

Considering a lot of these players haven’t played much football this season, they could well find themselves in a relegation battle. Therefore our Out of Contract XI will be coached with a man who knows about a survival dogfight. If anyone can keep this lot up, it’s Big Sam.

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