The Forgotten Men

by Damien O Grady

Damien O’Grady looks at five players who have dropped off the map recently.

Craig Gordon

In 2007 Gordon joined Sunderland for a then British record fee for a goalkeeper of £9million from Hearts but now the Scottish International is a free agent having been released in the summer. Gordon’s incredible save against Bolton at the Stadium of Light in December 2010 was recently voted as the Best Save from the 20 seasons of the Barclays Premier League while Gianluigi Buffon said Gordon “is a great goalkeeper at international level” who “has a very promising career in Europe”. Unfortunately for Gordon he suffered a number of serious injuries during his spell at Sunderland and he managed just 88 league appearances in his five seasons at the North East club. 29 year old Gordon still has plenty to offer and provided he can put his injury problems behind him he could prove a great bargain for a Premier League club.

Jose Bosingwa

Two Champions League winners medals, five league titles and four domestic cups. An impressive CV one could argue but Jose Bosingwa is a free agent after being released by Chelsea at the end of last season. After joining the London club in 2008 in a deal worth £16.3million the Portuguese international went on to make 125 appearances for the Blues including 43 last season but new manager Roberto Di Matteo decided he wasn’t a part of his plans and Bosingwa was shown the door. There is no doubting Bosingwa has his faults but he certainly has plenty to offer and a number of sides would benefit from his experience as well as his attacking mentality and ability.

Owen Hargreaves

Only four appearances for Hargreaves at Manchester City last season saw him released and once again looking for a new club. There is no doubting his dedication, work rate and enthusiasm in his bid to prove the doubters wrong over his injury problems but a total of just nine appearances in the last four seasons has clubs thinking that it is unlikely Hargreaves will ever be fully fit again. He has been training with Qpr but as of yet hasn’t signed for anyone and the door remains open for someone to sign a player who has experience as well as two Champions League medals and five league titles.

Louis Saha

The 34 year old is currently a free agent after his contract expired at Spurs at the end of last season. The Frenchman scored 3 goals in his short 9 game spell at White Hart Lane to keep up his ratio of goals throughout his career which now stands at 159 goals in 471 games. With so many Premier League clubs lacking natural goal scorers Saha should be one of the most wanted players this summer yet the striker has failed to find a club for the coming season. Saha may be known for his injuries more than his goals to some people but with only a couple of years left in his career he would surely accept a pay as you play contract. The former Manchester United striker has everything, power, pace, two footed and excellent in the air. Surely it is only a matter of time before the striker finds a club.

Michael Owen

Another striker who has had his injury problems but like Saha, Owen would more than likely be willing to sign a pay as you play deal and when he plays he scores. An amazing record of 221 goals in 473 appearances proves that Owen is a finisher of the highest order. Still only 32, Owen has goals left in him and although he may not have the pace he once had he is still a clinical finisher. Despite being limited to 52 appearances during his three year spell at Manchester United Owen still managed 17 goals and on a pay as you play deal he could prove a fantastic signing for a Premier League club.

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