Get ’em for Free – The Top XI Players Without a Contract

Some players whose contracts have expired are yet to find a club. The upside of signing them is the fact that no transfer fee is due (and the longer they have been without a club, the more desperate they become to sign a new deal).

Here’s a side made of players who went after their trade in the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 last season but haven’t yet found a new club.

Goalkeeper – Jaroslav Drobny

At 39 years old, the goalie isn’t one for the future, but he has shown himself to be a dependable second-choice keeper over the years. If the former Czech international decides to continue his career, he’d be well-suited to become any Bundesliga club’s back-up keeper or he could try his luck in a lower division or abroad.

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Right Back – Guilio Donati

124 Bundesliga matches for Bayer Leverkusen and Mainz 05 make the Italian another experienced campaigner who is out of a job. Right now a return to Italy seems to be on the cards. Whichever side signs him will get a more-than-decent right back in their midst.

Centre Back – Jan-Ingwer Callsen-Bracker

At age 34 it might be time to call it quits, but if Callsen-Bracker should decide to take on another year as a pro, he’d be likely to find a team in one of Germany’s lower divisions. After eight years at Augsburg (interrupted by a six-month loan spell at Kaiserslautern in 2018) the defender has shown himself to be a more-than-decent centre back with a good eye for the game.

Centre Back – Marc Torrejón

The Spaniard has plenty of experience at Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 level. Union Berlin found it best to not extend his contract though, leaving the 33-year-old the option of either finding another club in the lower divisions beneath the Bundesliga or move abroad. Torrejón is a decent defender and should have another good couple of years at Bundesliga 2 level in his legs.

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Left Back – Gaëtan Bussmann

The Frenchman has mostly been on the bench during his four years at Mainz and Freiburg. Ever since he arrived from Metz, Bussmann has struggled to get beyond the status as an add-on player. Whenever he has been given the chance, he has shown that he can compete at Bundesliga level.

Holding Midfield – Dennis Aogo

The 32-year-old’s vita is impressive! The left back and midfielder has played at Schalke, Freiburg, HSV and VfB Stuttgart in addition to collecting 12 caps for the German national team. It’s hard to see any current Bundesliga side wanting to take a chance on a player of his age, bar any catastrophic injuries. However, a move abroad or down the divisions could end his search for a new employer.

Holding Midfield – Johannes Geis

Under Thomas Tuchel at Mainz he was hailed as the next big holding midfielder. These days he is looking for a job. Ever since leaving Mainz, Geis has struggled to find his way at Schalke, Sevilla and 1. FC Köln of late. At age 25, it is now time to turn this career around (or to disappear in the nether regions of German football).

Right Wing – Branimir Hrgota

The Swede arrived as a 19-year-old promise to the future. However, despite showing glimpses of his talent and quality, he hasn’t managed to perform on a high level over a longer period of time. Hrgota would most definitely be a good get as an add-on player, with potential to gain a place in the first team.

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Left Wing – Franck Ribery

Probably the most-famous and best player on this list. The Frenchman has a long and illustrious career at Bayern behind him and now he’s looking for a new challenge. Rumor has it that he doesn’t want to play against Bayern, which means that a move abroad seems to be most likely.

Attacking Midfielder – Lewis Holtby

Once golden boy, now out of a job. Holtby wanted to re-start his career at HSV four years ago, now it seems like his career has taken another turn for the worse. However, any Bundesliga or Bundesliga 2 side willing to put up with his high salary demands should get a decent and versatile midfielder.

Striker – Franco Di Santo

His three-and-a-half years at Schalke haven’t really lived up to the expectations the Royal Blues were having. Di Santo arrived as one of the players then-coach Andre Breitenreiter wanted to sign for his team. However, since he arrived, Di Santo hasn’t managed to recapture the great form from his last season at Werder. The Argentinian is a decent-enough striker with a point to prove.


Christian Träsch, Sidney Sam, Ja-cheol Koo, Christoph Jancker, Ivo Ilecevic, Marvin Matip, and Alexander Meier

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Niklas Wildhagen

Niklas is a 33-year-old football writer and podcaster who has been following the Bundesliga and German football since the early 90s. You can follow him on Twitter, @normusings, and listen to his opinions on @TalkingFussball.

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