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Bargain bunch

Could an XI of free agents win the Premier League next season?

There's a number of Premier League stars deemed surplus to requirements by their clubs, but can they still perform at the very top?

There’s a small army of Premier League stars who find themselves out of a job this summer. 

And while it’s a little awkward for them, it could spell good news for a number of clubs keen on skipping the transfer fee and picking themselves up a freebie.

So long, Joey

PA:Press Association
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So long, Joey

From Manchester United’s hero of last season Zlatan Ibrahimovic to the troublesome Joey Barton, there’s a host of familiar names populating this season’s released player lists.

But could this lot still form a pretty tasty first-team XI?

We certainly think so, and it would look something like this:

Jobless lot

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Jobless lot

GOALKEEPER

We’re sure Willy will find a new home soon enough

PA:Press Association
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We’re sure Willy will find a new home soon enough

Shay Given and Alexander Manninger (crikey, that’s a nostalgia trip) are two goalies that will be on the lookout for a new club this summer.

But while both are fairly solid, we’ve opted for former Manchester City shot-stopper Willy Caballero.

The Argentinian proved to be a reliable back-up throughout his three years at the club, and was instrumental in City’s League Cup triumph on penalties in 2016.

DEFENCE

JT arranging his next guard of honour

AP:Associated Press
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JT arranging his next guard of honour

There’s plenty of strength and experience in our back-line, with all four of our defenders boasting Premier League winners’ medals.

In fact, John Terry and John O’Shea, our centre-back pairing, are both Champions League winners previously, while full-backs Bacary Sagna and Gael Clichy are still in and around the France squad.

What’s more, if Caballero gets an injury, then we’re sure O’Shea could do a stint between the sticks.

MIDFIELD

All I can do is sprint, lads!

Rex Features
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All I can do is sprint, lads!

Further forward, Jesus Navas may struggle to cross the ball from the right-wing, but the pacy Spaniard still boasts a trove of medals throughout his career, including the World Cup.

Alongside Navas is former Crystal Palace and Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini, who despite his advancing years, could still prove to be a fairly reliable presence in the centre of midfield.

And with ex-Sunderland winger and dead-ball specialist Sebastian Larsson on the opposite flank, we reckon this is a fairly solid midfield trio.

ATTACK

Knees of steal

AP:Associated Press
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Knees of steal

Ibrahimovic was the standout name from this season’s released players list, and is the biggest name in our line-up too.

Much like United, we’d be relying on the towering Swede to score the majority of our goals (providing you stay away from his knees), but Victor Anichebe and Arouna Kone could still get us a goal or two.