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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Five free agent forwards Premier League clubs could target

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The Premier League’s Profit and Sustainability rules (PSR) have seen even England’s elite feel the financial squeeze this summer.

Free agents could be a cost-efficient method of strengthening for those sailing close to the wind when it comes to PSR and there are plenty of strikers that can be signed on the cheap this summer.

July 1 will mark the official expiration of several contracts across Europe and we’ve profiled five forwards who could attract English clubs.

Memphis Depay

Memphis Depay will seek a new challenge this summer after his contract at Atletico Madrid was terminated for the upcoming campaign. The 30-year-old started just nine league games during an injury-hit campaign in 2023-24, scoring five times.

Depay will be one of the most high-profile free agents on the market this summer and boasts a record of 46 goals in 95 appearances for the Netherlands at international level. The forward struggled during a previous spell in the Premier League at Manchester United but has matured since that 18-month stint and rebuilt his reputation at Lyon with 76 goals in 178 games before moving to Spanish football.

Happy birthday, @Memphis 👉🦁👈 pic.twitter.com/Ye9j4agmzP

— LALIGA English (@LaLigaEN) February 13, 2024

Currently with the national side at Euro 2024, Depay’s future is expected to be resolved following the tournament. An experienced low-cost option with pedigree at the top level, he could be open to a return to England with the motivation of a point to prove.

Kelechi Iheanacho

Kelechi Iheanacho will leave Leicester after seven seasons with the Foxes, following a bit-part role as the club earned promotion back to the Premier League in 2023-24. The Nigeria international has failed to reach the heights expected after his initial emergence at Manchester City but will attract suitors despite a dip in form over the last two seasons.

Iheanacho has good movement and intelligent link-up, while he has been content with an impact role for much of his career. Still just 27, he leaves Leicester having averaged a goal or assist every 115 minutes in league action, despite rarely being a regular starter.

Kelechi with a touch of magic 🪄 pic.twitter.com/v46Jos7X6T

— Leicester City (@LCFC) August 9, 2023

Che Adams

Che Adams is set to leave Southampton this summer after failing to agree a new deal with the Saints. The 27-year-old scored 18 goals in all competitions last season for Russell Martin’s side as Southampton earned promotion to the Premier League through the play-offs.

The Scotland international struggled to make an impact at Euro 2024 with the national team but could prove to be a shrewd signing for teams in the lower reaches of the Premier League.

Che Adams, AGAIN! 🤯 pic.twitter.com/NEuGbba6x8

— Sky Sports Football (@SkyFootball) April 16, 2024

Last season, he ranked fourth in the Championship for non-penalty goals, and fifth for xG per 90, while he ranks in the 96th percentile of forwards in the Next 14 Competitions outside Europe’s top five leagues for progressive passes per game.

The Leicester-born forward has been linked with a return to the Midlands, with Nottingham Forest and Wolves among those interested.

Anthony Martial

Anthony Martial’s underwhelming nine-season stay at Manchester United has concluded with the Red Devils opting against an extension to his deal.

The French forward has seen his career decline since an impressive 2019-20 campaign under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, which saw Martial score 23 goals to earn Manchester United’s Players’ Player of the Year award.

Anthony Martial has some heartfelt words to share as he confirms his @ManUtd exit 🔴 pic.twitter.com/r2iWC6tUKN

— Premier League (@premierleague) May 27, 2024

Still just 28, there will be some keen to take a gamble on Martial, who has earned 30 caps for France. A return to Ligue 1 looks likely for the 2015 Golden Boy, however, with Marseille and former club Lyon interested. Besiktas could rival that interest.

Michy Batshuayi

Michy Batshuayi’s nomadic career looks set to take on another stop this summer as the former Chelsea and Crystal Palace forward leaves Fenerbahce.

Batshuayi has produced the most consistent form of his career across two seasons in the Turkish Süper Lig, netting 44 goals in 75 appearances across all competitions for the Istanbul outfit.

However, the forward struggled for status last season after the arrival of Edin Dzeko from Inter Milan and started just four league games, incredibly returning 12 goals from just 776 minutes of action.

🦇💛💙 pic.twitter.com/p8EzVX7fkJ

— Michy Batshuayi (@mbatshuayi) September 21, 2023

A decision has been made to leave Fenerbahce in search of more regular football, with widespread reports the 30-year-old is on the verge of joining arch-rivals Galatasaray.

Read – Free agents! 25 top players available for nothing on July 1

See more – Tweets of the Week: Boring England, Anthony Gordon’s bike crash, public enemy Southgate

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