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Drogba and Zamora are up front in our Premier League released XI

Premier League squads announced yesterday which players are out of contract, and you could put a pretty decent team together with them.

IT’S THAT TIME of year again when managers clear out the deadwood from their squads and players that once served their clubs so well are pushed out to pasture because of either age, form or injuries.

Most are usually quite expected but there are always a few names that surprise football fans on the list. Here’s a Premier League XI of released players that would have a pretty good crack at remaining in the division if all were fully fit.

Goalkeeper – Brad Jones

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Manchester United v Liverpool - Old Trafford Australian Jones is leaving the club he supported as a child. Source: Richard Sellers

The Australian penned a letter to Liverpool fans saying that he would leave the club last month. In truth he was never really good enough for Liverpool, and considering Juusi Jaaskelainen and Steve Harper are now 40, Jones is just about good enough to make this team. As he said himself upon leaving the Kop, “sometimes the dream ends”.

Right-back – Micah Richards

Italy Soccer Europe League Richards' loan spell at Fiorentina was underwhelming. Source: AP/Press Association Images

Having made his debut as a 17-year-old against Arsenal in October 2005 and being capped by England at just 18, becoming the country’s youngest ever defender, the possibilities for Richards seemed limitless. Injuries have played their part, along with losses in form during the 2011/12 season for Manchester City and he now finds himself without a club. Surely still worth a punt at just 26?

Centre-back – Ron Vlaar

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Aston Villa v Burnley - Villa Park At 30-years-old, Vlaar would sure up plenty of Premier League defences. Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

‘Roncrete’ is now on the lookout for a new club after refusing to sign a new contract with Aston Villa. His performances for Holland in last year’s World Cup attracted plenty of admiring glances from some of Europe’s bigger clubs, but that interest appears to have waned over the course of the season. A link-up with Louis Van Gaal doesn’t seem likely anymore, so a side somewhere from fourth to eighth place in the table seems a likely destination.

Centre-back – Richard Dunne

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Queens Park Rangers v West Bromwich Albion - Loftus Road Will anyone take a punt on the man with the most own goals in Premier League history? Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

There are other options to place here like Wes Brown, Antolin Alcaraz, Paul McShane and Gareth McAuley, but Dunne is the most likely to find solace with a Premier League side. The Tallaght man mountain returned early from a knee injury to try and save the sinking ship that was QPR, but the damage was well and truly done throughout his injury absence. A club with modest ambitions may see Dunne as a perfect squad player.

Left back – Glen Johnson

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Chelsea v Liverpool - Stamford Bridge A move abroad seems likely for Johnson. Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Glen Johnson seems to have aged by about five years in the last two seasons, such has been the decline in his game, but at only 30 years old, he may re-invigorate his flagging career with another club. Less than a year ago he was England’s undisputed right-back, now he is quite a bit away from making the squad. Besiktas have been the most strongly linked with the former Chelsea star, along with West Ham.

Centre midfield – Youssouf Mulumbu

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - West Bromwich Albion v Sunderland - The Hawthorns At 28, Mulumbu should be in the prime of his career. Source: Dave Howarth

It came as somewhat of a shock to see the Congo international sitting on the free agent list, but the man that has been so influential in turning West Brom into a stable Premier League club is now jobless. Having averaged over 35 games a season for five years until the beginning of last season, Mulumbu was an integral part of the Baggies midfield. He surely won’t be without a club for long, and Norwich are said to be strongly interested.

Centre midfield – Abou Diaby

Soccer - Capital One Cup - Third Round - Arsenal v Southampton - Emirates Stadium Diaby was highly rated as a youngster. Source: EMPICS Sport

After apparently sustaining a whopping 40 injuries in the past three years it finally got to the stage where Arsene Wenger washed his hands of a broken Diaby. The Frenchman was a force of nature when he first broke into the Arsenal midfield, lauded as the new Vieira. One league appearance in the last two seasons doesn’t bode well for Diaby as he searches for a new club.

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Centre midfield – Tom Cleverley

Soccer - FA Cup - Third Round - Manchester United v Swansea City - Old Trafford Cleverley earned a re-call into the England squad recently. Source: PA Archive/Press Association Images

When Cleverley first broke through at Manchester United you would have never imagined he would find himself a free agent by the time he was 25. Once thought of as England’s answer to Xavi, he found his level at Aston Villa last year where his performances could be described as a little bit above average. A strong finish to the season has re-ignited Everton boss Roberto Martinez’s interest in his old apprentice midfielder at Wigan.

Striker – John Guidetti

Soccer - UEFA Europa League - Round of 32 - Second Leg - Inter Milan v Celtic - Stadio Giuseppe Meazza Guidetti had a successful loan spell with Celtic. Source: EMPICS Sport

The Swedish forward has had a hard time of things since his stunning season with Feyenoord in 2011/12. Back then he was seen as a future star for Manchester City but injuries have severely limited his progress. 15 goals for Celtic last season shows that he still knows where the net is, and at just 23, he is sure to have plenty of suitors.

Striker – Didier Drogba

Soccer - Barclays Premier League - Chelsea v Sunderland - Stamford Bridge The Ivorian hasn't had his contract with Chelsea renewed. Source: Mike Egerton

It’s surprising that Drogba would rather play on with a different club than just retire now and go straight into a coaching role with Chelsea. He wants one more year however, and that looks likely to be somehwere in the MLS. It’s highly improbable that he would contemplate playing for another Premier League side, so should he get a substantial financial offer from the MLS, he could be facing off against Sean St Ledger next season.

Striker – Bobby Zamora

Britain Soccer Premier League Zamora was relegated with QPR this season. Source: AP/Press Association Images

The released QPR striker still showed signs last season that he has something to offer at the top level of English football. Once he was picked in the side again he proved a handful to defenders and was involved in most of QPR’s best moves. He would appear to be a decent addition to a low lying Premier League squad.

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