Premier League Players with Expired Contracts

Alexandre Lacazette returns to Lyon on free transfer from Arsenal as  Premier League adventure ends - Eurosport

Lacazette left Arsenal for Lyon

June 30th marks the end of a contract cycle in world football, with players officially commencing new contracts in their new clubs on July 1st, or staying as free agents for the time being in search of new clubs to move to. Typically, players get tapped up as early as January, while some clubs remain hopeful to retain the services of their playing staff, like how Arsenal was successful with extending the contract of Eddie Nketiah, that was linked with a move away from the Emirates Stadium, when fellow Premier League outfit, Crystal Palace made a bid for the striker that was turned down

Gooner Daily gives a quick overview of all 20 Premier League clubs that competed last season, reviewing the status of the players with expired contracts, now eligible to seek greener pastures elsewhere. Without further ado, here are the list of Premier League players with expired contracts

The Champions – Manchester City

After many years with the club, the Citizens have said their goodbyes to their captain, Fernandinho, that has returned home to play in his native, Brazil.

The Challengers Till the Very End – Liverpool

The biggest name from the list of personnel released by the Reds is the super sub and ever dependable, Divock Origi, that has quickly switched to AC Milan. The club has also released two unused erratic goalies, Loris Karius and Adrian, as well as some long-serving youngsters with the notable names being Ben Woodburn and Sheyi Ojo.

The Rest of the Champions League Contingent

Chelsea

The Blues got their biggest hits on their backline with the uber-consistent Antonio Rudiger leaving to Real Madrid and Andreas Christensen on his way to Barcelona. The club has finally let of Danny Drinkwater after several loan spells to different clubs, then of course, the club released George McEachran, who’s the brother of the next best thing since fried plantain, Josh McEachran (remember him?)

Tottenham

Spurs don’t have any notable players that were released.

#TeamEuropa

Arsenal

After 71 goals in 206 games, Alexandre Lacazette returned to the club the Gunners signed him for, Olympique Lyonnais, on a free transfer.

Manchester United

The amount of wages that have been saved from the releases at Manchester United are astronomical, with the likes of Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Edinson Cavani, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic, and Lee Grant all leaving on free transfers.

Pogba is closing in on a move to Juventus, Matic is already a confirmed player at AS Roma, joining his former boss, Jose Mourinho, Grant decided to retire, Mata can concentrate on his blog while Lingard has increased his focus on making TikTok videos.

West Ham

Long-standing captain and stalwart, Mark Noble, retired at the end of last season, but it was interesting to see the Hammers let go of the services of Andriy Yarmolenko, Angelo Ogbonna, David Martin, and Ryan Fredericks.

The Mid-Table Class

Leicester City

Eldin Jakupovic played second fiddle for the entirety of his Foxes career to Kasper Schmeichel, and it only made sense to let him go with age not being on his side. The surprising release is Daniel Amartey, that always provided cover at center back when the club was plagued with injuries in that playing position.

Brighton and Hove Albion

Danny Welbeck arrived at Brighton on a free transfer, and it seems that he’s leaving the same way. The club also released Tudor Baluta and the veteran, Dale Stephens

Wolves

The experienced Joao Moutinho has played in the upper echelons of world football before settling at Wolves, but he has been released after so many years of service. Seeing a first-team regular like Romain Saiss leave on a free transfer was shocking to say the list, but it seems Marcal‘s short sojourn to the Premier League is over, as well as backup veteran goalie, John Ruddy.

Newcastle

The Magpies don’t have any notable players that were released.

Crystal Palace

Cheikhou Kouyate served the Eagles admirably in central defense and defensive midfield, but the lanky #’8s time in England is up. Backup defender, Martin Kelly, was also released. There goes our FPL £4.0m enabler.

Brentford

Zanka couldn’t nail a consistent starting berth on the Brentford backline and has been giving his marching orders from the club. Christian Eriksen is currently out of contract with the club, but negotiations are still ongoing to retain his services.

Aston Villa

Conor Hourihane struggled to nail a first team berth and has been released from the club. The Villans have grudgingly said their goodbyes to one of the Premier League’s best divers, Ashley Young – a true Legend of the Fall

Relegation Survivors

Southampton

The Saints signed Gavin Bazunu from Manchester City and let go of three goalies, Fraser Forster, Alex McCarthy, and Willy Caballero. They also released their backup forward, Shane Long, and defensive regular, Jack Stephens.

Everton

There was a massive upheaval at Goodison Park, with the likes of Nicolas N’Koulou, Cenk Tosun, Fabian Delph, Andy Lonergan, Gyifl Sigurdsson, Jonjoe Kenny released from the club.

Leeds United

The Lily Whites don’t have any notable players that were released.

The Departed

Burnley

Following their relegation from the Premier League, the regular defensive pairing of James Tarkowski and Ben Mee were released. The club also let go of some old hags in Aaron Lennon, Erik Pieters and Phil Bardsley. Matej Vydra was a decent striker at best, and would be on the lookout for a new club as well.

Watford

Tom Cleverley served Watford for years following his move from Manchester United, but the average midfielder will be given a chance to ply his trade elsewhere following this release. Same applies for Ben Foster, but I reckon he’d probably retire for world peace.

Norwich City

Lukas Rupp didn’t nail a starting berth for Norwich was released by the club. I trust Teemu Pukki and his ilk to score all the goals in the Championship for a swift return to the Premier League, before yet another relegation. The Canaries positioning in and out of the Premier League remains sinusoidal at best. 

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Raphin-IN, Raphin-OUT

Chelsea have Raphinha bid ACCEPTED with Blues to beat rivals Arsenal and  Spurs to Leeds star after £55million offer

Raphinha and Thiago Silva could be teammates this season

It was well documented that Raphinha is a prime target for FC Barcelona this summer, but their current financial constraints as a club made it impossible to meet Leeds’ valuation of their star winger. They were probably hopeful that the Frenkie de Jong deal to Manchester United would have been wrapped up, to allow them with the raw funds required to seal the deal, but in football, time can be a key factor in completing signings for clubs conducting business. 

Then Arsenal came into the picture, and turned out to be favorites to land Raphinha. Barcelona fans would have been disgusted with the thoughts of losing a player they never had, but Leeds wasted no time in rejecting Arsenal’s initial bid for Raphinha – a figure undisclosed, but it was evident that it was not up to their valuation for the player which was around £65m. Barcelona also had a £47m bid rejected earlier, so the Leeds hierarchy made it clear that their man could only leave if the right offer was submitted.

As a player, Raphinha’s ability and talent is undoubted – goals, assists, creativity, as well as a very good threat from set pieces, and in a club like Arsenal, he would have offered stiff competition to Bukayo Saka, as well as bring a quality addition to Arsenal’s attack. As an experienced player, as well as Premier League-ready, no adaptation period would have been expected from a player like Raphinha and he would have hit the ground running from the go. 

Yesterday night, Arsenal hearts were broken when news surfaced that Chelsea had met Leeds’ valuation for Raphinha and are close to agreeing personal terms for the Brazilian winger. It’s not like he preferred Team A to Team B, but he made it clear that he wanted to leave Leeds United following their struggles last season and in all honesty, Chelsea offers a better preposition than Arsenal at the moment – they narrowly missed out on a domestic cup double last season via penalties, and most importantly, they currently offer Champions League football, which Arsenal hasn’t seen for the best part of six seasons. Let’s also not forget that they have a new owner, Todd Boehly, who is keen to impress the fans that have become accustomed to having a sugar daddy.

Arsenal fans have been basking in the euphoria of new signing, Fabio Vieira, as well as Gabriel Jesus whose announcement on the official site is imminent, and adding Raphinha to that mix would have certainly sent the fans to Cloud Nine, but as Arseblog rightly said, you win some, you lose some

What matters now is how Arsenal reacts to losing a genuine transfer target like Raphinha.

The club recently signed Marquinhos – a talented winger billed for the future, and would be an understudy to Saka. The young Brazilian would be expected to get some game time in the Europa League and other domestic cup competitions, but he doesn’t currently represent the quality gap that an amazing talent like Raphinha would have filled. Then there’s Nicolas Pepe, that remained at the periphery last season and is closer to the exit door than staking a claim for a first team berth.

One would expect the likes of Edu and the scouting teams to earn their stripes with a new attacking acquisition, but we can also look from within and plug the void with our own attacking talent. Either ways, there is still a lot of transfer business to be conducted between now and August, so let’s remain hopeful.

Sayonara.

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How Will Matt Turner’s Signing Affect Bernd Leno?

Watch: Matt Turner's first official interview after signing for Arsenal

Matt Turner making a save

The goalkeeping situation at Arsenal was a rather interesting one last season, as the Gunners invested £24m in Aaron Ramsdale to serve as a deputy to Bernd Leno. Mikel Arteta was certain that Alex Runarsson was certainly not a dependable deputy following his shaky performances in the Europa League with the final nail on his coffin being his shambolic outing against Manchester City in the Carabao Cup quarterfinal of the previous season. 

Bernd Leno started the season on the end of some bashing from Brentford, Chelsea and Man City, losing his place to the newbie, Ramsdale, and never gaining it back. Sadly, Leno had to make do with featuring in the Cup matches, limiting his appearances last season to just eight – four in the League, three in the Carabao Cup and one FA Cup game, where the Gunners shamefully lost to Nottingham Forest. 

With a year left on Leno’s deal, Arsenal are faced in that tight situation of either putting him in the market to make some quid or letting him run out his contract and leave on a free transfer. Early on in the summer, Benfica was linked with a move for Leno, which would have offered him a chance to reunite with his former Bayer Leverkusen boss, and in more recent times, the Arsenal shot stopper has been linked with a move to Premier League returnees, Fulham. 

Amid the Leno uncertainties, it was evident that Arsenal had to make plans to get a backup goalie to the former backup goalie, Ramsdale, so whispers of a move for New England Revolution towering goalie, Matt Turner, began to surface. Not much is known about the lad from a scouting perspective, but the history books tell us that he was the 2020 New England Revolution Player of the Year, courtesy of votes from players and fans alike. He amassed 111 appearances (102 MLS) in five seasons with the American outfit.

He has also been competing with Manchester City’s Zak Steffen for a starting berth in the USMNT, but it’s evident that Matt Turner is Gregg Belhalter’s preferred option in goal, as Turner has featured 18 times for USMNT, including 13 in 2021. This consistent run of games for his national team included a 2021 CONCACAF Gold Cup win. 

Arsenal has announced the signing of Matt Turner from New England Revolution and have handed him the #30 jersey. As expected, Mikel Arteta and Edu had good things to say about the American and touched on his experience. He’s expected to be a deputy to Ramsdale this season and would feature in the Carabao Cup, FA Cup and Europa League.

With Turner now in our ranks, the road is paved for Leno to leave the club, and the expectation is that he’d be gone, sooner rather than later. After 125 appearances for the Gunners, it looks like its gonna be…

Sayonara Herr Leno.

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