We might still be very much in the depths of pre-season, but July 1 is actually a very important day in the football calendar.
Well it’s when the new Premier League squads first really start to take shape.
July 1 effectively marks the end of player contracts which aren’t being renewed, releasing said players out into the wilderness.
And some of the announcements today have caused a real stir… HE was still playing there? Really? Here’s five that blew us away…
1 Ashley Williams (Everton)
It wasn’t too long ago that Williams was being touted as the man to solve Arsenal’s defensive crisis.
It didn’t quite work out that way.
Williams traded Swansea for Everton and his powers seemed to almost instantly wane overnight.
After an uneventful year on loan at Stoke in the Championship where he lost his place in the starting XI, Williams is now a free agent.
2 Adam Bogdan (Liverpool)
Here’s a Netflix documentary idea; producers follow the lives of third and fourth choice goalkeepers just to see what the hell they actually get up to.
Bogdan isn’t quite Rob Green because he at least spent a few years out on loan, but he’s also endured long periods of thumb twiddling at Liverpool.
He played only two Premier League games for the Reds, one of which was a 3-0 defeat at Watford when he proceeded to drop the ball into his own net inside four minutes.
3 Jason Puncheon (Crystal Palace)
Weird career alert.
Twelve different clubs including four separate spells at MK Dons, Puncheon has been here, there and everywhere.
But one place he definitely won’t be this season is Crystal Palace after his release today.
His last appearance for anyone came in a 23-minute cameo for Huddersfield at West Ham in March, not long after he was told to ‘stay away’ from the club after being involved in training ground bust up.
4 Anders Lindegaard (Burnley)
Another from the Bogdan school of thought, Lindegaard has played a grand total of zero Premier League matches since he joined Burnley two years ago.
He’s had to watch Tom Heaton, Nick Pope and even Joe Hart at times dominate goalkeeping game time at Turf Moor during that period.
Lindegaard was once in a genuine tussle for the Man United number one shirt with David De Gea. Just let that sink in.
5 James Wilson (Man United)
Speaking of forgotten United players, remember this guy?
Touted as the future of the club when he scored twice on his debut against Hull in May 2014, he’s scored just 10 league goals in five years since.
Wilson’s four goals in 24 appearances for Aberdeen last season suggest he doesn’t quite possess the scoring touch that many first thought.