Just when you thought transfer season was over, up pops a reminder that the domestic window is in fact still open.
Premier League clubs can still sign from the lower divisions until October 16 and elsewhere several high-profile free transfers remain on the table.
Already, we’ve seen 2014 World Cup winner Mario Gotze end speculation on his future by signing for Dutch side PSV Eindhoven while West Ham winger Felipe Anderson joined Porto on loan, owing to the Portuguese window being still open. But which other players could seal moves in the coming days and weeks?
1. Jack Wilshere (free agent)
The 28-year-old midfielder left West Ham on deadline day after his contract was terminated by mutual consent. The situation does not sit well with the player himself, who took to social media to claim that he has been fit for the best part of eight months but was not allowed to showcase his worth on the pitch.
— Jack Wilshere (@JackWilshere) October 5, 2020
When available, Wilshere presents a very tantalising option. But few clubs capable of affording his wages would seem willing to gamble on his fitness. As things stand Rangers are the bookmaker’s favourites to sign him. William Hill have them at 1/3 to be Wilshere’s next club.
Wilshere is a player well acquainted with Steven Gerrard, whom he replaced as an 83rd-minute substitute to mark his England debut 10 years ago. The duo went on to share the pitch several times after that for the Three Lions and a reunion here could seriously bolster Rangers’ title chances this season (if he stays injury free).
2. Ismaila Sarr (Watford)
The Watford sensation has been linked to pretty much every major Premier League club since suffering relegation last season. Sarr proved a superb piece of business from the Hornets last summer, with the Senegalese starring in an otherwise inconsistent and underwhelming side.
Manchester United and Liverpool have been linked, but the Reds have since acquired Diogo Jota while the Red Devils splurged on Atalanta phenom Amad Diallo Traore.
3. Danny Welbeck (free agent)
One player who has definitely left Vicarage Road, however, is Danny Welbeck. The former Arsenal and United forward is a free agent after parting ways with Watford and despite his injury issues, is still only 29.
With pressure already mounting on those at the foot of the Premier League table, there may be an added emphasis to reinforce frontlines and add attacking depth. This one has Fulham or West Ham written all over it.
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4. Sergio Romero (Man Utd)
It was widely reported that Everton wanted to sign Sergio Romero on deadline day, but United scuppered the move by demanding a fee. The player’s wife made his feelings clear by posting on social media.
“Sergio Romero worked hard for this club,” she wrote. “Last trophy they won, they lifted it with him. He helped the team reach 4 finals/semi finals and then was left on the bench only to lose them all.
“It is time for them to return the opportunity and let him go. RESPECT FOR ONCE!!!”
And with Dean Henderson now second choice following last season’s impressive campaign in the Premier League with Sheffield United, Romero really needs a new buyer. Sportsmail say MLS is being lined up as his escape route, and he has until October 29 to push a deal through.
Romero won the Europa League and League Cup with United in the 2016/17, having lifted the FA Cup the campaign previous. Overall, he has kept 39 clean sheets in 61 games while conceding just 27 times.
5. Said Benrahma (Brentford)
The Algerian was expected to leave Brentford before deadline day came and went, but the talismanic winger has thus far stuck around for the Bees.
Despite the overseas market now being off limits, Benrahma represents a genuinely elite option for Premier League clubs, and far from a last-minute panic buy, so expect speculation on his future to also stick around.
His output for a winger in the Championship is top drawer, with 17 goals and nine assists last season. West Ham are expected to make a move following Felipe Anderson’s loan move to Porto, reports the Evening Standard, who also expect the Irons to target Watford centre-back Craig Dawson.