Premier League's seven best free transfers including James Rodriguez as Everton ace nets fifth goal of season vs Man Utd

JAMES RODRIGUEZ has completely turned his career around since moving to England and could now be considered one of the greatest free transfers in Premier League history.

Having struggled at Real Madrid – and even on loan at Bayern Munich – many believed the Colombian's career was over.

A traditional No10, even Rodriguez admitted his own position was dying out in the modern game.

But since moving to Everton, on what has now been confirmed as a free transfer, the star of the 2014 World Cup has proven he's still got many good years ahead of him.

Rodriguez has already scored give Premier League goals, most-recently netting in the thrilling 3-3 draw with Manchester United.

But how does Rodriguez compare to some of the Premier League's other most-famous free transfers?

We take a look in reverse chronological order…


PSG to Man Utd (2016)

JOSE MOURINHO'S failed to bring back Premier League glory to Old Trafford.

But in signing freebie Ibrahimovic from Paris Saint-Germain, Mourinho did at least inject a little spark into an otherwise bored and frustrated fan-base.

Zlatan scored 17 times in the 2016-17 season before a double cruciate tear the following year limited him to just five matches.

In just one full season, Ibrahimovic helped United to the Europa League and crown, EFL Cup and Community Shield.



Man City to Liverpool (2015)

AFTER five years at the Etihad, Man City opted against renewing Milner's contract in the 2014-15 season.

The versatile midfielder headed to league rivals Liverpool, with many believing his best years could be behind him.

Despite pushing 30 at the time of signing, Milner has played a huge role in helping Liverpool reach TWO Champions League finals – winning the 2019 edition.

He also starred as the Reds finally broke their Premier League title drought – and has now played close to 250 matches for the Anfield side.

Milner has played in central midfield and in both full-back spots during his time at the club, with his versatility and work-rate key to Jurgen Klopp's recent successes.


Bayern Munich to Chelsea (2006)

A MAJOR coup at the time, the Blues landed Germany and Bayern legend Ballack on a free in the summer of 2006.

The midfielder had already won four Bundesliga titles – at Kaiserslautern and Bayern Munich – on his arrival.

And Ballack was instrumental as Chelsea clinched the 2009-10 PremierLeague crown.

During his four-season stay, the 98-cap Germany legend also won THREE FA Cup trophies, one League Cup, one Community Shield and was on the losing end of the 2007-08 Champions League final.

All in all, Ballack played over 166 times for the club – averaging over 40 matches per season well into his 30s.


PSG to Bolton (2002)

THE Nigerian club icon joined the Trotters from PSG immediately after the 2002 World Cup.

And Okocha would write his name in Bolton folklore, famed for his skill and flair on the ball.

Jay-Jay – 'so good they named him twice', as fans put it – was even given the captaincy during his time at the Reebok Stadium.

As captain, Okocha led Bolton to the League Cup final in 2004, losing to Middlesbrough, during his four-year stay.

Okocha also helped lead Bolton to the lofty heights of eighth (2003-04 and 2005-06) and sixth (2004-05) – with the Trotters qualifying for the Uefa Cup, where they would reach the last-32 stage.


Tottenham to Arsenal (2001)

ONE of the most-infamous moves in history, Campbell swapped Spurs for fierce rivals Arsenal on a free ahead of the 2001-02 season.

The England centre-back had spent 12 years at Tottenham – in the youth squads and first-team – but would enjoy his best years at the Gunners.

As part of a fearsome defence, Campbell helped Arsenal win two Premier League crowns – including the 2003-04 'Invincibles' campaign.

The Gunners also won one FA Cup title and even reached the Champions League final with Campbell in the team.


Coventry to Liverpool (2000)

AT the age of 35, McAllister was brought in to Anfield by Gerard Houllier in a move that raised eyebrows across the country.

Yet the Scottish veteran helped usher in a much-needed period of success during his two-year stay.

As well as scoring some famous goals – including a 45-yard free-kick winner in the 2001 Merseyside derby vs Everton – McAllister won FIVE trophies in a one-year span.

In 2001 alone, Liverpool won the League Cup, FA Cup, Uefa Cup, Super Cup and Charity Shield.

McAllister also scored key goals in the run-in of the 2000-01 season as the Reds qualified for the 2001-02 Champions League.

He even scored a crucial penalty in the Uefa Cup semi-final against Barcelona, with Houllier later calling the Scot his 'most inspirational signing'.


AMONG other, Leicester duo Christian Fuchs and Marc Albrighton deserve a nod.

The pair both joined the club on free transfers – from Schalke and Aston Villa respectively.

And they played a huge role in helping the 'Fearless Foxes' stun the globe to win the 2015-16 Premier League title – a 5000/1 shot at the start of the season.

They only miss out on the main list having been overshadowed by the likes of Jamie Vardy, Riyad Mahrez, Kasper Schmeichel and N'Golo Kante that year.

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