Free Agent: Salvation

The summer transfer window slammed right over our grasping fingers. Management tried to get several last minute transfers over the line and failed with every one of them, bar Daniel Peretz. Now it seems that we'll be forced to sit tight, rely on frequent rotation and pray the injury gods have mercy on our precious few midfielders and defenders.

As it stands, we have 2 midfield starters in Kimmich and Goretzka. Laimer is filling in at both midfield and fullback, Guerreiro as the only senior reserve left-back, with Musiala better utilised further up the field. The situation in central defence is worse, having only 3 players for selection in De ligt, Upamecano and Kim. The reserve option? 18 year-old Tarek Buchmann with 0 caps for the first team. The squad is dangerously close to being fielding unseasoned youth players in the Bundesliga, Pokal and Champions League.

But what if I told you our situation really isn't as dire as it seems, that there was magic a solution to our problems? No, this does not mean bringing Neuer into midfield or Lord Sarr onto the pitch.

The answer? Free agents.

Some might scoff at the idea of signing an unattached player now, when all that remain are flops and leftovers. It would be reasonable to assume the best options were already been snapped up on pre-agreements, or while the window was still open.

However quality players still slip through the cracks, or at least guys fit enough to be squad players in circumstances like these. There are viable options available beyond Manchester United stalwart Phil Jones, or Boateng returning at 35.

  1. Roberto Pereyra (32, MV €6m)
    The best man on this list, but arguably least needed. A very decent central midfielder who previously played for Udinese, Watford and Juventus. High energy player that ended last season with 36 appearances and 14 goal contributions in Serie A.

    Regardless, the club would be undeniably better with his quality. Bringing him in frees up Laimer to play right-back if Mazraoui goes down with an injury or suspension.

  2. Jean-Philippe Gbamin (27, MV €4.8m)
    Once an exciting prospect with FSV Mainz, Gbamin had his trajectory derailed by a poor run at Everton, and middling spells in Russia and Turkey. A defensive midfielder by trade but capable of playing centre back.

    An option to pacify Tuchel's DM cravings until the club can make another run at Palhinha in the winter. Ex-EPL player? Even better. One potential slip up could be the late termination of his Everton contract on 1st September. I'm not sure if he can be signed under regulations because of this. He also had fitness issues last season (24 games).

  3. Josuha Guilavogui (32, MV €2m)
    A quality player for years with Wolfsburg, he is comfortable at both defensive midfield and centre back. Accumulated plenty of match time last season (26 games), scored a goal and ended his campaign as a starter.

  4. Almamy Touré (27, MV €2.5m)
    An occasional starter for Frankfurt, he struggled with injuries over his time at the club. Far from the best option on the list, he had 9 appearances and 1 assist. For now at least, he seems fit and available.

Pereyra aside, I looked focused on players who last played in Germany, or had during some point in their career. Joining a new club with the season already underway can impede the integration process. Already knowing the language or league should make the transition easier.

Any one of these guys could fill in as emergency options, or at least spread the workload more evenly across the thin roster. Overworking the squad is bound to result in injuries before the break.

Hopefully the club brings in a much-needed reinforcement or two before something dire happens.

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