With the setup of the summer transfer window reportedly meant to be changing, where the business completed by the teams will have to be done before the new season starts, most clubs and managers will have to prepare themselves by creating a small list of targets before the current campaign is over.
Sometimes, the best way to be effective within the market and be one step ahead of the other teams is by looking out for which individuals are close to being available on a free transfer. One of the huge factors to this, is that a potential club can negotiate and come to an agreement with a player that is in the final six months of his contract to go on to completing a move to his next destination on a summer Bosman move.
Here are the six European players that will become a free agent at the end of the season...
- Bundesliga – FC Schalke’s Max Meyer
Although the big sides in Europe tend to focus on bringing in central midfielders that bag assists and goals, Max Meyer is a unique talent that dictates play and controls the middle of the pitch whilst playing as a deep-lying playmaker. Just like many of the other attacking midfielders in the top leagues so far this season, the German international has been utilised in a more remote position, where he is simply the heartbeat of the team. This has been the exact outcome for the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, Kevin Kampl and Porto’s Oliver Torres.
He may not be well-known compared to the other talents within Bundesliga such as Christian Pulisic or Leon Bailey, however, Meyer has established himself as one of the best players within his department in recent years. Going from a huge attacking threat in the final third to a calm controller in the middle of the pitch, the 22-year-old has without a doubt, done more than enough to go on to moving to a club with more ambition.
Potential suitors from the Premier League: Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham Hotspur.
- Eredivise – Ajax’s Nick Viergever
Despite spending just over three months on the sidelines due to an ankle fracture, Nick Viergever is finally back on the training ground and will be looking to get back into the Ajax starting line-up. Before his injury issues, the centre-back was playing a key role for his side as he provided pure stability in defence as well as offering the team the help they needed in building up the attack with his composure on and off the ball. On top of that, his experience and ability to lead the team from the heart of defence has been more than important.
Standing at six feet tall, Viergever has the height and the physical attribute to compete in one of the best leagues within Europe. The Dutchman may not get picked for the national squad alongside the likes of Daley Blind or Virgil Van Dijk, on the other hand, a move away from the Netherlands to the Premier League or the Serie A would massively help him in achieving his goal of being a regular starter for his country.
Potential suitors from the Premier League: Burnley, Everton, Leicester City.
- La Liga – Eibar’s Dani Garcia
Without a doubt, Spain produces a plethora of talented players within all positions, especially in the midfield department. Whether they are well-known or not is another question, though, Dani Garcia has established himself as one of the best defensive-midfielders within La Liga and is still yet to earn the true recognition that he deserves. The captain of Eibar has been a regular starter since his loan deal in 2012, and he became the first player to reach the milestone of 100 La Liga appearances for the club last year.
In spite of the fact that he has missed a couple of league games so far this season, Garcia has still managed to complete the most tackles (52) and second most interceptions (48) compared to the rest of the Eibar squad. The 27-year-old has shown his attributes on both sides of the pitch, from snuffing out the danger in his own half to helping his side on the counter-attack, clearly proving that he is a very complete midfielder.
Potential suitors from the Premier League: Everton, Liverpool, Manchester United.
- Ligue 1 – Saint-Etienne’s Jonathan Bamba
When it comes to a division like the Ligue 1, it’s sometimes hard to take the players seriously due to the fact that half of them go on to thriving in the more competitive leagues whilst the others tend to fail to meet the supporter’s expectations. On the other hand, it’s worth nothing that Jonathan Bamba is having a bright season as he has managed to achieve six goals and four assists in 23 league appearances, including the vital winner at home to Nice at the start of the campaign to two important assists against Marseille just over a few weeks ago.
Jean-Louis Gasset’s side are in the bottom half of the table and are lacking a natural goal-scorer within the starting line-up, nevertheless, Bamba has individually done more than enough towards helping the team to be dangerous and effective in the final third of the pitch. Naturally a winger that plays on the right side of the field, the Frenchman also has the capability of playing as a lone forward as well as on the left flank.
Potential suitors from the Premier League: Leicester City, Southampton, West Ham.
- Premier League (Ukraine) – Shakhtar’s Donetsk’s Bernard
The current focus at Shakhtar Donetsk is either on the rise of Brazilian central midfielder Fred or top goal-scorer Facundo Ferreyra, however, attacking midfielder Bernard has still managed to help his side by contributing with goals and assists. So far this campaign, the 25-year-old has come up with five goals in the Ukrainian Premier League and three goals in the Champions League, with the important brace away at Feyenoord as well as giving his team the lead against Manchester City in the European competition.
Bernard joined Shakhtar at the age of 20, though, five years later, it now feels like he is playing a vital role for Paulo Fonseca’s men despite the fact that he has not been offered a contract extension by the club. Technically gifted and incredibly intelligent on the ball, he is more known in helping towards the side’s build-up play than be picking up the attacking statistics that many football supporters look at before an individual is linked to their team. At the end of the day, many Premier League sides could do with the abilities of Bernard.
Potential suitors from the Premier League: Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur.
- Serie A – Lazio’s Stefan De Vrij
Since completing his move from Feyenoord to Serie A side Lazio in the summer of 2014, Stefan De Vrij has gone on to establish himself as a complete defender and one of the best centre-backs within the league. Unfortunately, the constant injury issues he has picked up has hindered his development and has prevented him from transferring to a club that has more ambition and are more successful than Lazio. Nonetheless, the Dutchman has still managed to complete over 100 appearances for the Italian club in all competitions.
De Vrij’s defensive discipline and positional awareness has allowed him to be utilised either in a general formation of four defenders or the common back-three/five system. The 26-year-old and his imposing height has proven to be helpful on both sides of the pitch for Simone Inzaghi’s team as he places himself in the right place at the right time in his own half and he also does his best to chip in with a few goals and assists.
Potential suitors from the Premier League: Arsenal, Liverpool, Manchester United.
This article was written for exclusively Soccer Box, where you can shop for official Premier League football shirts, as well as jersey for club team's from around the globe, by Asif Norat.