The Best Free Agents to Sign on Football Manager 2021

Matt O'Connor-Simpson
Nov 16, 2020, 11:00 AM GMT
Daniel Sturridge is one of the best free agents available on Football Manager 2021
Daniel Sturridge is one of the best free agents available on Football Manager 2021 | VI-Images/Getty Images

There are many ingredients that go into making a succesful Football Managaer 2021 save.

An effective tactic, talented staff and man management skills are all important but none of that really matters if you do not possess a talented squad.

Because of this, recruitment is absolutely key. However, identifying the players you want is only half the battle - you also need to possess the money to make the deals happen.

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, being financially responsible is more important than ever in this year's game. With that in mind here are 50 Football Manager 2021 free agents who will not cost you a penny to sign.

1. Goalkeeper

No, Heurelho Gomes has not retired yet
No, Heurelho Gomes has not retired yet | Linnea Rheborg/Getty Images

Heurelho Gomes - We don't care that he's 39 and we don't care that he's mad as a box of frogs. If you're searching for a backup keeper, look no further. His high determination stat is great for mentoring as well.

Rob Elliot - It wasn't so long ago that Elliot was starting for Newcastle in the Premier League. With solid mental attributes and cheap wages, he's a good option for anyone managing in the second tier.

Orjan Nyland - Another solid choice for anyone interested in FM21 free agents is Nyland. The erratic Norwegian was Aston Villa's cup keeper last season and could play a similar role elsewhere.

Danijel Subasic - After eight fruitful years at Monaco, Subasic is back on the market. His 44 caps for Croatia should make getting a work permit no problem at all.

Darren Keet - When managing in the lower leagues, money is always going to be a problem. That's what makes signing former South Africa international Keet on a free such an attractive proposition.

2. Right Backs

You can sign a Premier League winner for free in FM21
You can sign a Premier League winner for free in FM21 | William Early/Getty Images

Danny Simpson - It's not often that a Premier League winner is available on a free transfer. With Simpson, you are getting a no thrills, no spills defender who, depending on your tactical style, may still have a role to play in the top flight.

Antonio Valencia - If you like your FM21 free agents/Premier League winners with a little more oomph going forward, Valencia could be your man - even if he is now 35.

Daryl Janmaat - At just 31, Janmaat still has plenty to give. You will struggle to find a better attacking full-back among the FM21 free agents. 14 Crossing, 14 Dribbling and 15 Tackling is testament to that.

Bacary Sagna - 37-year-old Sagna has been out of football for some time since leaving Montreal Impact in 2019. He's as slow as a tortoise these days but can still cross it beautifully.

Kevin Großkreutz - Once a key part of the Borussia Dortmund side, Großkreutz's contract was recently terminated by 3.Liga KFC Uerdingen. The German would be a great addition to any lower league save, thanks to his exemplary mental attributes.

3. Left Backs

Mr. Versatile Kwadwo Asamoah would be a great addition to any side
Mr. Versatile Kwadwo Asamoah would be a great addition to any side | Etsuo Hara/Getty Images

Kwadwo Asamoah - Able to play in all manner of different positions Asamoah is one of the best free transfers FM21 players can make. His versatility could prove particularly useful to a top flight team competing on multiple fronts.

Gael Clichy - After helping Istanbul Basaksehir to a maiden Turkish title last season, Clichy is looking for his next challenge. At 35, he may not possess the rapid speed that made his a household name but he can still do a job for a team in the bottom half of the Premier League.

Papa Souare - He's not going to blow your socks off but former Crystal Palace left-back Souare is a safe pair of hands for the second tier.

Aly Cissokho - Oh, how the mighty have fallen. From Liverpool and Aston Villa to the scrapheap at the ripe old age of 33. It's no life for Cissokho. If you can get him to agree to a reduced wage, we reckon he'd do alright in a lower league save.

Ivan Strinic - Strinic started the World Cup final two years ago but a heart problem has stunted his recent career. Throw him a lifeline by snapping him up for a rotational role in FM21.

4. Centre Backs

Garay did not survive the summer cull at Valencia
Garay did not survive the summer cull at Valencia | Eric Alonso/Getty Images

Ezequiel Garay - Garay is one of the best free transfers FM21 has to offer. His physical attributes may be in decline but in the mental and technical department he remains strong. We're sure West Ham will be interested.

Ashley Williams - Looking for a short term solution to your Championship side's defensive problems? Former Swansea City and Everton man Williams could be your answer.

Adrian Mariappa - It wasn't long ago that Mariappa was being tipped as one of the Premier League's most underrated centre-backs. Signing him up to a second tier side is a no brainer.

Alex Bruce - Bruce is on our FM21 free agents list after being released by Kilmarnock in the summer. He'd fit in well at an aspirational lower league side. Better move quick though. We hear Newcastle - managed by his father Steve - are sniffing around the 35-year-old.

Lamine Sane - With a ridiculous jumping reach and fine heading ability, Sane will be a real threat for corners. What a shame Sports Interactive patched that front post corner glitch about five years ago, eh?

5. Defensive Midfielders

Who doesn't want a bit of that in their team?
Who doesn't want a bit of that in their team? | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Lee Cattermole - Here are three reasons to sign Cattermole - one of the best free transfers FM21 has to offer lower league sides. One, 18 Aggression. Two, 19 Bravery. Three, 18 Leadership.

Tom Huddlestone - League One and bottom half Championship sides will be queuing up to sign Huddlestone. Who wouldn't want to add some international experience to the ranks?

Andrew Surman - Neat and tidy midfielders are an underrated commodity in football. Surman fits the description well and any lower league side would be lucky to have him.

Bruno Gallo - The games come thick and fast lower down the football pyramid. That's why versatile players like Bruno Gallo are so in demand. The Brazilian's main position is defensive midfield but he can also fill in at left-back.

Jucilei - Recently released by Sao Paulo, Jucilei is an impressive choice for those considering FM21 free agents. He even got two caps for Brazil back in 2010.

6. Centre Midfielders

Can you be the manager to finally get the best out of Jack Wilshere?
Can you be the manager to finally get the best out of Jack Wilshere? | Stephen Pond/Getty Images

Jack Wilshere - Once dubbed the future of English football, WIlshere is now on our list of FM21 free agents after being let go by West Ham. Capable of playing as a number eight and number ten, he would make a good squad player for most top flight teams.

Yohan Cabaye - With 17 Technique , 16 Work Rate and 14 Vision, Cabaye still has plenty to give - even if his physical attributes are looking a bit sad these days.

Yaya Toure - At 37-years-old, do not expect Toure to play every game. However, his excellent mental attributes make him a great mentor. He'd also end up scoring a few bangers thanks to his 15 Long Shots.

Benat - Deep lying playmakers are a must in most FM21 formations. A great option to play this role is former Athletic Club man Benat.

Andy King - God save the king. For a fairly modest outlay, this League One, Championship and Premier League winner can be yours.

7. Attacking Midfielders

So much was expected from Halilovic
So much was expected from Halilovic | Soccrates Images/Getty Images

Samir Nasri - 'What happened to Samir Nasri?' is a commonly Googled question. Most recently, the Frenchman was at Anderlecht with former Manchester City teammate Vincent Kompany. Following his release, he can now be snapped up from the pool of FM21 free agents.

Stephane Sessegnon - Remember this 2010s Premier League baller? The tricky number ten would be an incredible addition to any third tier upstarts.

Alen Halilovic - This is a rare example of a free agent under the age of 30. Halilovic was once considered an FM wonderkid. These days he'll be grateful for a contract anywhere but don't expect to get him for sign for anything less than £20,000-per-week.

Donis Avdijaj - Avdijaj is another FM wonderkid of yesteryear who never fulfilled his potential. The former Schalke would still be a good addition to a lower league save and is capable of playing as a number 10 or striker.

Nacer Barazite - Completing our hat trick of fallen FM wonderkids is former Arsenal man Barazite. Due to coming through the ranks in north London, he counts as a homegrown talent. This should make snapping him up for your lower league save a piece of cake.

8. Right Wingers

Farfan is a legend in his native Peru
Farfan is a legend in his native Peru | Alessandra Cabral/Getty Images

Markel Susaeta - It's clear Susaeta was playing below his level for Melbourne City. Now his contract's been terminated, the tricky winger would be a great signing for anyone in the second tier or below.

Jefferson Farfan - Looking for a reliable penalty option from the list of FM21 free agents? Farfan is your man. With 17 Penalty Taking and 14 Composure, the Peruvian won't be missing many from 12 yards.

Ben Marshall - If you want to add a bit of flair to your lower league side, Marshall is the man. Blessed with the: Shoots From Distance and Tries Long Range Free Kicks traits, there is bound to be fireworks if you sign him up.

Nathan Dyer - To be honest, now his pace is going, Dyer has not got all that much to offer in the Championship. He should do alright if you can convince the Premier League winner to take a step down.

Samu - This heavily tattooed, brunette bombshell will surely increase shirt sales. He's not too bad a player either...

9. Left Wingers

Corr, the years have not been kind to Pato
Corr, the years have not been kind to Pato | Miguel Schincariol/Getty Images

Alexandre Pato - Despite achieving very little of note in his recent career, Pato is still one of the best free transfers FM21 players can make. 16 Flair, 16 acceleration and 15 dribbling make him best suited for a left wing berth.

Ibrahim Afellay - Once of Stoke City (and Barcelona) fame, Afellay can play anywhere across the front line. This kind of flexibility make him a solid purchase for any side pushing for top tier promotion.

Pablo De Blasis - Most recently of Eibar, De Blasis is the archetypal dogged winger. This makes him the perfect addition to a team of plucky underdogs aiming for glory.

Bakary Sako - Former Wolves favourite Sako still has plenty to offer a lower league side. With 15 Flair, he could be the injection of unpredictability that your side needs.

10. Strikers

Mandzukic last played in Qatar
Mandzukic last played in Qatar | Simon Holmes/Getty Images

Mario Mandzukic - Here he is. The best free transfer FM21 has to offer. Boasting 16 Heading, 19 Teamwork and 20 Aggression, Mandzukic would improve any team in the game. We expect quite a bidding war for the Croatian.

Emmanuel Adebayor - Incredibly, Adebayor is still knocking about. Wages may be a problem but the clinical Togolese would walk into most second tier starting XIs.

Mario Balotelli - From one unpredictable striker to another, Balotelli is a great option for any middling Premier League side. His Shoots From Distance combined with 16 Long Shots is a deadly combination.

Fred Friday - Nigerian striker Friday has the best name out of all the FM21 free agents. If this the only reason he made the list? Yes. Yes it is.

Daniel Sturridge - He may be the most injury prone man alive but Sturridge still has some excellent attributes. With 15 Finishing and 16 Composure, he remains clinical in front of goal. However, his 8 Work Rate means someone else will need to do his running for him.

Raffael - Who doesn't love a false nine? They're exotic and also devastatingly effective on Football Manager. Raffael is one of the best of this type of striker and he can be snapped up on a free following his release from Borussia Monchengladbach.