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Bargain Hunting – 10 Players able to sign pre-contracts in January

January is a time for bargains. An entire month of deals and offers as opposed to the overhyped single day even known as Black Friday. You often hear Premier League managers talk about there being no value in the January market but that’s just not true. Players that are out of contract in the summer are able to sign pre-contract agreements with clubs in January. Clubs may not be able to address their issues short term in January but there are long term benefits to be had if you go shopping in January.


Using the ever reliable http://www.transfermarkt.co.uk/ I had a look at the 20 best suited players for the Premier League who are available for free next summer.

Nicolas Nkoulou – Defender

The 25 year old Marseille defender is well known to fans of Ligue 1. The centre-back has amassed well over 200 league appearances in his career as well as featuring in both the Champions League and the Europa League.

He’s very much a modern day centre-back; he’s confident on the ball and can pick a pass and his 88% pass success rate does him justice in that respect.

With the money available in the Premier League  I wouldn’t be surprised to see a mid table team try their luck with him but he’s no doubt got the required quality to play for a top 7 side.

Sam Byram – Defender.

The full-back has been linked with an abundance of Premier League clubs already in January as teams look to boost their squads on the cheap.

The 22 year old has a lot of potential and in the past two seasons and a half has managed to score 6 goals and assist 5 goals for an inconsistent Leeds side. He also boasts an impressive 2 headers won per 90 which is an asset to have in any side. Able to play a few positions this versatile full-back may tempt a number of Premier League sides.

Ever Banega – Midfielder.

Still only 27 it feels as though the Argentine playmaker has been around for decades but in reality he’s only just coming into he peak. He’s rediscovered his form since moving to Sevilla and this season alone has 5 goals from 15 starts along with 2 assists.

The maestro would be a superb addition to many Premier League sides as his strengths are what many seem to lack. He completes 2 dribbles per 90, completes 2.2 key passes per 90 and he makes 2 tackles per 90. Not only this he’s also lethal when it comes to set pieces. I can’t think of any midfield in the Premier League that wouldn’t improve with him in it.

Daniel Agger – Defender.

Daniel Agger supposedly left Liverpool to join Brondby because he couldn’t handle the stress of regular football anymore.

In the last 13 games for Brondby Daniel Agger completed 90 minutes in 12 of them. He’s only just turned 31 and if he were to join a side that didn’t have European football then managing his game time wouldn’t be much of a problem.

Not only does he bring experience he also brings confidence on the ball that many Premier League sides are looking for defensively these days.

Alvarez Eder Balanta – Defender.

Those that are familiar with football manager will be familiar with this guy.

Still relatively young in terms of defenders, the 22 year old has over 70 first teams appearances for River Plate and has already been capped by Colombia. The left footed left sided centre-back is the definition of a modern day defender. Masterful in the tackle, strong in the air, quick over the ground and composed on the ball. He’s the type of player you build your defence around.

Miguel Veloso – Midfielder.

The 29 year old defensive midfielder has done the business in three different countries now. He excelled at Sporting Lisbon alongside Joao Moutinho, surprised everyone with a move to Genoa in Italy before signing with Dynamo Kiev in Ukraine.

Loaded with experience he’s not your stereotypical defensive midfielder. He’s more of a hybrid between a defensive midfielder and a deep lying playmaker. Effective both on and off the ball he’d do a job similar to that of Yohan Cabaye. His set pieces alone are probably worth the signing on fee.

Andrija Zivkovic – Midfielder.

Again, those familiar with football manager will know just how highly rated this player is.

He’s a cross between a winger and an inside-forward depending on where he plays. Captain of his club Partizan at the age of 18 he’s been labelled the Serbian Messi.

He almost signed for Benfica but a disagreement lead to that deal breaking down. Serbian press report if Zivkovic is not sold in January then Partizan have to refund Pini Zahavi his £1 million investment in the player so you could be getting a potential world class player in January on the cheap.

Charlie Austin – Striker.

All Premier League clubs needs goals and Charlie Austin did the business for QPR in his only season in England’s top division finishing with 18 goals as QPR were relegated.

He’s admirably stuck with QPR in the Championship as they looked to bounce straight back. Sadly for them they didn’t but it’s very unlikely you’ll see their number 9 sticking around come summer time.

He’s as good in the air as he is with the ball at his feet. He’s a handful for any defender and the type to guarantee you 15 goals per season even when playing for a lesser Premier League side.

Marcos Alonso – Defender.

The 25 year old versatile left-back has really come on since his loan move to Bolton in 2010. He’s able to play centre-back, centre-midfield and anywhere on the left hand side.

In his 12 starts for Fiorentina this season he’s managed to score two goals and assist three times. He’s not just a player with a good work rate, he’s also got output to match and it’s this combination that would be appealing to many mid table Premier League sides. Experience, versatility and he’s the right age. He’s that utility player all managers want in their team.

Aleksandr Kokorin – Striker.

The 24 year old Dynamo Moscow forward should definitely be a striker the mid table sides are looking at. He’s a modern day number 9. Big, powerful, great in the air, a work rate that puts most strikers to shame and ice cold infront of goal. He has 25 goals and 10 assists in 67 games for Dynamo and already has 10 goals in 36 appearances for Russia.

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