It seems that a particular topic of debate just won’t go away during the transfer season i.e. Transfer fees.
To begin with, there was the extraordinary £49m that Manchester City paid Liverpool for Raheem Sterling in July. City followed that up by breaking their transfer record for the second time in a matter of months when Kevin De Bruyne signed from Wolfsburg for a reported £55m. Over £100 million for two players.
Ok. Money in football isn’t a new thing. Inflated transfer fees have been around for a long time. But can they ever be justified? Do clubs and their owners really need to go out and spend tens of millions on just one player?
This summer has seen a mix of older, experienced players and upcoming younger talents move club for free.. for no cost.. for nothing. So many so, that it’s possible to form an entire squad that would arguably be good enough to compete at the very highest level.
Steven Gerrard and Andrea Pirlo moved to MLS sides LA Galaxy and New York City. Barcelona’s Xavi opted to join Qatar side Al-Gadd, while Robinho made a surprise switch from AC Milan to Chinese outfit GZ Evergrande.
Liverpool were the most active English side in the free transfer market as two left Anfield in the form of Gerrard and right-back Glen Johnson, the former staying in the Premier League, joining Stoke City. Coming in were James Milner from Manchester City and Burnley’s Danny Ings.
Manchester City allowed both Milner and Micah Richards to move on, the latter switching to Aston Villa.
City’s neighbours, Manchester United, brought in Argentine goalkeeper Sergio Romero from Samporia while midfielder Tom Cleverley joined Everton after a short loan spell at Aston Villa.
You don’t need to be Sheikh Mansour or Roman Abramovich to build your fantasy football dream team, spending hundreds of millions in the process. You can do it on a shoestring. Well, actually less than a shoestring.
We’ve compiled a squad of 23 players. It includes their former club alongside their new club or in Ron Vlaar’s case, still without a club. Their current market values as provided by Transfermarkt, ages, preferred positions and the alternative positions they can play.
Remember, this entire squad costs nothing!
Iker Casillas: Real Madrid to FC Porto – MV £4.2m – Age 34
Neto: Fiorentina to Juventus – MV £6.3m – Age 26
Sergio Romero: Sampdoria to Manchester United – MV £3.5m – Age 28
Maxi Pereira: Benfica to FC Porto – MV £5.6m – Age 31 – Right-Back (Right Midfield)
Glen Johnson: Liverpool to Stoke City – MV £4.9m – Age 31 – Right-Back (Left-Back)
Micah Richards: Manchester City to Aston Villa – MV £3.85m – Age 27 – Right-Back (Centre-Back)
Ron Vlaar: Aston Villa (unattached) – MV £4.2m – Age 30 – Centre-Back
Niklas Moisander: AFC Ajax to Sampdoria – MV £3.5m – Age 29 – Centre-Back (Left-Back)
Emiliano Insua: Atletico Madrid to VfB Stuttgart – MV £2.8m – Age 26 – Left-Back (Left Wing/Centre-Back)
Christian Fuchs: FC Schalke 04 to Leicester City – MV £2.1m – Age 29 – Left-Back (Left Midfield)
James Milner: Manchester City to Liverpool – MV £9.8m – Age 29 – Right Midfield (Central Midfield/Left Midfield)
Sami Khedira: Real Madrid to Juventus – MV £12.6m – Age 28 – Defensive Midfield (Central Midfield)
Andrea Pirlo: Juventus to New York City – MV £0.7m – Age 36 – Defensive Midfield (Central Midfield/Attacking Midfield)
Steven Gerrard: Liverpool to LA Galaxy – MV £2.8m – Age 35 – Central Midfield (Attacking Midfield/Defensive Midfield)
Tom Cleverley: Manchester United to Everton – MV £6.3m – Age 26 – Central Midfield (Left Midfield/Right Midfield)
Xavi: FC Barcelona to Al-Gadd – MV £3.5m – Age 35 – Central Midfield (Attacking Midfield)
Evgen Konoplyanka: Dnipropetrovsk to Sevilla – MV £14m – Age 25 – Left Wing (Right Wing/Secondary Striker)
Andre Ayew: Marseille to Swansea City – MV £9.1m – Age 25 – Left Wing (Attacking Midfield/Central Midfield)
Robinho: AC Milan to GZ Evergrande – MV £4.2m – Age 31 – Left Wing (Attacking Midfield/Secondary Striker)
Danny Ings: Burnley to Liverpool – MV £8.4m – Age 23 – Centre Forward (Left WIng/Secondary Striker)
Samuel Eto’o: Sampdoria to Antalyaspor – MV £1.4m – Age 34 – Centre Forward (Secondary Striker/Right Wing)
Andre-Pierre Gignac: Marseille to Tigres – MV £7m – Age 29 – Centre Forward (Left Wing)
Bakary Sako: Wolves to Crystal Palace – MV £2.9m – Age 27 – Left Wing (Right Wing/Secondary Striker)
Players that failed to make the squad include Didier Drogba, Joey Barton, Yoann Gourcuff, Ronaldinho and Alberto Aquilani.
Fantasy Football game Oulala have put together their chosen XI from the 23 man squad. The average age of the side is 30. Its total market value comes in at £67.55m, its actual cost of course, is free.
Think you could pick a better team?
Who would make your Free Transfer XI from the 23 man squad?
Follow Soccerisma on Twitter: Soccerisma