Best XI EPL Players Whose Contracts Are Expiring
There's a plethora of English Premier League players set to be released by their respective clubs this summer.
Other sides will be checking up on each and every one of them to see if there's value in a free transfer deal, and we've constructed a best XI of EPL players set to depart.
Did we miss anyone? Comment below with your XI.
GK: Lukasz Fabianski
Lukasz Fabianski, affectionately known as "Flappyhandski" by Arsenal fans, is set to leave the club this summer after losing his first-team spot to fellow countryman Wojciech Szczesny.
He made his first start in 13 months at the Allianz Arena and helped the Gunners defeat Bayern Munich, showcasing good reflexes and confidence that could attract other suitors.
Alternative: Mark Schwarzer
RB: Danny Simpson
Danny Simpson's Newcastle United career appeared finished the moment Alan Pardew signed two new full-backs in January.
With Davide Santon, Massadio Haidara and Mathieu Debuchy on the books, first-team action for Simpson is now extremely limited and he will be relieved that his contract is set to expire.
There'll be quite a few English Premier League clubs looking at the 26-year-old.
Alternative: Paulo Ferreira
CB: Rio Ferdinand
Will Rio Ferdinand sign a new deal at Manchester United? You'd guess so, but at the time of writing he's an impending free agent.
He's enjoyed a resurgent season and has become one of the league's most reliable and stable centre-backs, beating old injury concerns to belie his years.
Alternative: Chris Baird
CB: Kolo Toure
Kolo Toure has been immense when stepping into the defensive line this season and has quietly put together one of his better campaigns in a Manchester City shirt.
Whether it's at right-back or centre-back, Kolo came up with the goods so often it prompted some City fans to question the impending decision to release him.
Furthermore, his departure would ruin one of the best chants ever generated by a fanbase. Seriously, watch this video.
Alternative: Maynor Figueroa
LB: Dwight Tiendalli
Dwight Tiendalli was brought to Swansea City on a one-year deal following Neil Taylor's leg break.
But the full-back's seemingly obvious path to the first-team was blocked by rising star and local boy Ben Davies, meaning the Suriname-born Dutchman is set for pastures new once more.
By natural trade he's a right-back but he's very capable on the left. Such is the drought of good left-backs on the free transfer market—he's switching over for us.
Alternative: Wayne Bridge
CM: Frank Lampard (C)
The decision to let Frank Lampard leave Chelsea on a free transfer still baffles everyone in world football.
He's going to be a superb pickup for someone, adding experience, elite talent and a professional calm to any midfield within minutes of arriving.
"Super Frank's" destination will be a heavily scrutinised story over the summer.
Alternative: Thomas Hitzlsperger
CM: Mahamadou Diarra
We're adding steel and bite to our creative presence in midfield with Fulham midfielder Mahamadou Diarra.
The Malian international will forever be followed by the stigma of failing to replace Claude Makelele at Real Madrid—who in the world could—but he is still a very serviceable player.
Alternative: Georgios Karagounis
RW: Yossi Benayoun
Rafa Benitez's decision to start Yossi Beanyoun over Marko Marin is starting to get on Chelsea fans' nerves—the former is off this summer while the latter could have a big future at the club.
The Israeli has been around the block and, at 32 years old, will pick his next club very carefully. He's no longer a 38-game player and he needs to find the right role for himself.
Alternative: Jermaine Pennant
AMC: Andrey Arshavin
Andrey Arshavin must be desperate to leave Arsenal now, having been frozen out of the first-team picture for almost two seasons.
He's still a very talented player and will likely head back to his native Russia—at 31 he's still got a lot to offer the likes of Zenit St. Petersburg or Anzhi Makhachkala.
Even throughout Arsenal's struggles this season, Arsene Wenger refused to try him in the starting XI.
He's a goner.
Alternative: Mladen Petric
LW: Florent Malouda
It's difficult to tell what remains in Florent Malouda's tank—we haven't seen him since he turned out for France in Euro 2012.
He was a very good player at one point, and it's a contract dispute rather than injury that's seen him drop off the face of the earth this year.
There'll be plenty of managers willing to gamble on the volatile Frenchman.
Alternative: Zoltan Gera
ST: Carlton Cole
There aren't many strikers set to hit the market as free transfers this summer, but Carlton Cole is a potentially attractive option for some.
He'll be a little peeved after Sam Allardyce ditched him in favour of Andy Carroll late in the summer transfer window and will likely want ultimate reassurance of first-team football before returning to West Ham.
Don't be surprised to see Stoke try and add him to their dense collection of target men.
Alternative: Roque Santa Cruz
The Manager: Paul Scholes
Paul Scholes will see his contract expire this season and will almost certainly retire—for the second time in as many years.
He has been a wonderful servant to the game, a rare one-club man who have achieved everything there is to achieve in domestic football.
Is there a better man to coach and manage this fictional free agent XI?