10 free agents with Champions League experience still available

Quick Reads

As any Football Manager player worth their salt knows, it’s about this time of the year that any desperate clubs might be tempted to take a look at the free agent market.

There are still some surprisingly big names currently without a club three months into the 2019-20 season.

We’ve taken a look at 10 current free agents with Champions League experience on their CV.

Hatem Ben Arfa

In the most predictably ‘Hatem Ben Arfa’ story of the summer, the mercurial attacker revealed he turned down multiple offers to join a new club by posting a message on Instagram that read: “No challenge that has been proposed to me has excited me. It’s like with a woman, if she does not excite you, let my brother down.”

Given Newcastle took a punt by re-signing Andy Carroll on a free transfer this summer, is it too much to ask for them to do the same with Ben Arfa?

READ: Remembering when Hatem Ben Arfa scored the best goal ever… twice

Wilfried Bony

Bony scored just 10 goals for Manchester City, with two of those coming in the 2015-16 Champions League, scoring in a 3-1 at Sevilla and 4-2 victory at Borussia Monchengladbach.

The striker was last spotted training with League Two outfit Newport County, although boss Mike Flynn ruled out any chance of signing the player: “No, let’s be honest, he’s 30 years of age, you can tell the quality he’s got and I’m not going to say we’ve got a chance because that’s doing Wilfried a disservice.

“I know for a fact he can still play at a much higher level.”

Keisuke Honda

Admittedly, Honda’s last club was Melbourne Victory and he is now the general manager of the Cambodia national team, but if anybody wants to sign him and just bring him off the bench to take free-kicks, we’re fine with that.

The 33-year-old tweeted in September: “Give me an offer. I don’t need money but I need to play with great team and great team mate! @ManUtd.”

READ: A tribute to Keisuke Honda, the free-kick maestro who did what he wanted

Ignazio Abate

A former Milan stalwart, Abate left the San Siro at the end of 2018-19 after a decade of service.

The versatile 32-year-old is an Italy international and Serie A title winner, although a move to MLS was reportedly on the cards in 2018.

Yoann Gourcuff

Gourcuff is never going to be the player he once threatened to be, and his contract was terminated by Dijon after just eight appearances and even more injury problems last January.

But we’re never going to stop hoping…

READ: Yoann Gourcuff: The man who cured French hearts after Zidane – for a while

Gabriel Paletta

Paletta played all of 78 minutes of Champions League football for Liverpool; 12 minutes in a 1-0 win at PSV and 66 minutes in a 3-2 defeat at Galatasaray.

We’re already doubting why we’ve included him in this list.

Jonathan Biabiany

Tottenham fans will* remember Biabiany for winning the penalty converted by Samuel Eto’o in Inters 4-3 victory over Spurs in 2010, which was undoubtedly the most important contribution of that game.

*won’t

Gary Hooper

He may have played more games in League Two than the Champions League, but Hooper did at least score crucial goals for Celtic in home and away wins against Spartak Moscow in 2012.

Younes Kaboul

Without a club since leaving Watford in December 2018, Kaboul will always have those three unbeaten Champions League outings for Spurs, scoring in a 1-0 win over Werder Bremen.

Denilson

Come on, Unai. Bring him back for the banter.


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