The 10 best players released by Premier League clubs

Ashley Cole

Players released by Chelsea, Manchester City, Manchester United, Newcastle United, West Bromwich Albion, Fulham and Crystal Palace all feature.

 

Shortly after the end of the season clubs are permitted to publish their retained list showing which players will be staying for the next season and which ones will be released. There have been some big names released this year and although some of those players are in the twilight of their career they should still be able to attract plenty of interest.

Other big names have been released by relegated clubs Norwich City, Fulham and Cardiff City who simply have to let some players go as they restructure their wage budget for the forthcoming season in the Championship.

Some players have already been snapped up following the admission they will be leaving their previous club. Marc Albrighton has joined Leicester City following his release from Aston Villa. Heurelho Gomes has signed a deal with Watford and Nemanja Vidic had already agreed a deal with Inter Milan.

The full list of the players retained and released by Premier League clubs is available here.

Here are the 10 best players to be released by Premier League clubs this summer and still on the lookout for new clubs:

Ashley Cole - Released by (Chelsea)

This time last year not many would have imagined that Ashley Cole would be released by Chelsea and also not on his way to the World Cup in Brazil with England. Usurped by Cesar Azpilicueta for club and Luke Shaw for country, Cole now finds himself without a club. He is however still one of the world's best left-back's and at the age of 33 still has a good few years left in him. Should still be able to sign a deal with a top club.

Frank Lampard - (Chelsea)

Although not officially confirmed by Chelsea yet it looks as if Lampard will be leaving Stamford Bridge. He has already been linked with joining up with Harry Redknapp once more at his newly promoted Queens Park Rangers side. Unlike Cole, Lampard did make it into the England squad and if given the opportunity may be able to show prospective clubs that he can still cut it on the world's greatest stage.

Joleon Lescott - (Manchester City)

Lescott started all four of England's games at Euro 2012 however this year he wasn't really one of the main contenders to get in the squad for the World Cup. Isolated at Manchester City by Manuel Pellegrini, he now finds himself without a club. City paid £22 million for Lescott and at 31 can still be a valuable asset for a Premier League club.

Gareth Barry - (Manchester City)

Continuing the trend of England internationals to be released is Gareth Barry also released by Manchester City. He was key for Everton last season striking up a great partnership with James McCarthy in the centre of midfield and it wouldn't be surprising if Everton were to try and sign him up permanently. A key player for all three of his clubs and has made at least 30 appearances in each of the last 12 Premier League seasons.

Julian Speroni - (Crystal Palace)

Julian Speroni was instrumental in Palace's return to the top flight and their survival campaign. Man of the match on many occasions for them last year but he has now departed the club after 10 years with The Eagles and 349 appearances since joining from Dundee. Sunderland are thought to be interested in the Argentinian who is a four-time player of the year for Crystal Palace (2008, 2009, 2010, 2014).

Steven Sidwell - (Fulham)

Fulham had a disastrous season which saw them sack two managers before the third ultimately couldn't save them from relegation. Many players underperformed and it was a surprise to see a side with Darren Bent, Scott Parker, and Dimitar Berbatov (up until January) struggle so much. Steven Sidwell however always wore his heart on his sleeve and was a credit to the club. A great servant who never gave up, but despite willing to stay on at the club was releases. Managed seven goals last season and shouldn't be short of top flight offers.

John Heitinga - (Fulham)

Another to be released by Fulham is Heitinga who only joined the club in January. A first-team player at Everton up until Roberto Martinez's arrival the Dutchman joined to help Fulham's battle on a six-month deal. Has represented his country at five international tournaments but will not be competing at the World Cup. Has a great deal of experience and is still just 30-years-old.

Liam Ridgewell - (West Bromwich Albion)

The defender has spent his whole career in the Midlands playing for Aston Villa, Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion. Played 33 games for The Baggies last season but is now on the lookout for a new club. The versatile defender has played over 250 in the top flight and would be a good addition for many teams. Will be hoping to carry on playing in the top flight as he won't want to throw his Premier League career down the toilet.

Shola Ameobi - (Newcastle United)

What a servant Shola Ameobi has been for Newcastle United. Known as 'The Mackem Slayer' by the fans due to his superb record against Sunderland in the derby games, Shola will now be on the lookout for a new club for the first time in his career. A goal at the Camp Nou against Barcelona is among the highlights of his career, and although not a prolific striker he adds a great dimension to the team. Loic Remy played off him well, and he can be a very useful partner for any striker.

Rio Ferdinand - (Manchester United)

The stalwart of the Manchester United defence has departed after an illustrious career with the club. However Rio isn't finished yet and wants to carry on with his playing career. A move to Major League Soccer wouldn't surprise many but there are a few Premier League managers who wouldn't mind bringing his experience to the club. Steve Bruce and Harry Redknapp to name just two. Has lost some pace, but still a commanding presence at the back.

 

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