• Nathan Smith


We are around midway through the January transfer window, and with clubs finances perhaps not as strong as they used to be, many EFL managers may be turning their heads to the free agent market.

Here are five players who should be on the radar for most EFL teams for this winter window.

Jack Wilshere

After his release from West Ham, it is kind of surprising but also not surprising to see Jack Wilshere still on the free agents list.

It is not surprising due to the Englishman’s horrible injury history, which has curtailed the midfielder’s career so far, which may be a risk for many clubs, as a player like Wilshere also commands a bigger wage than most in the EFL.

It is surprising because it is common knowledge that Jack Wilshere is one of the most technically gifted midfielders to have come through in England in recent years.

There is no doubt of his quality, and it would please many football fans to see the former England International get back to the form and fitness that had the whole football world talking about him many years ago.

Currently training at his former club Bournemouth, it would be no shock to see Jason Tindall’s side make an approach for Wilshere, so we may see him back playing soon.

Andre Green

The fifth youngest player to play for Aston Villa, Andre Green currently finds himself without a club after his release from the Villains.

He has had three loan spells at Portsmouth, Preston North End and Charlton Athletic respectively, but he has yet to fully catch the eye yet.

Still only 22, Green has plenty of time to develop his skills and deliver on his potential.

A tricky winger, he has represented England up until u20s level and made 40 appearances for Aston Villa, making him relatively experienced in the Championship.

He is currently linked with Barnsley and that may be the perfect move to get Green’s career back on track.

Jazz Richards

Having played for both Swansea and Cardiff, Jazz Richards has basically completed Welsh football, and when you add in the fact he is a Welsh International, it is a surprise to see Richards without a club.

When he was released by Cardiff, the sentiment seemed to be that Richards was a solid player, but injuries had prevented him from solidifying himself as a regular for Cardiff.

At 29 years old, the right back still has plenty to give and with years of Championship experience under his belt, Richards would be a solid addition to any side in the lower half of the Championship or the top half of League One needing a defensive boost.

Having been linked with Sheffield Wednesday and Salford City in this transfer window, it looks like Richards will find himself back in football before the end of the window.

Matt O’Riley

Matt O’Riley turned down a three-year contract extension from Fulham in the search of regular first team football but has yet to find a club to provide that.

After making only five appearances for Fulham in three years, O’Riley’s ambition made sense, a talented midfielder who, with the right move, may have found himself on a pathway to the England team, but it has not worked out for the youngster.

Having been linked with the likes of Borussia Dortmund and Juventus in the past, it is clear that the central midfielder has plenty of talent, but he may need to drop lower down the leagues to start his journey back to the top.

Still only 20 years old, O’Riley has time to develop but he will want to find a club sooner rather than later to prevent his career from slipping away.

Kal Naismith

Kal Naismith is the definition of a utility player, having played as a striker, winger, central midfielder, full back and centre back, but do not let that fool you into thinking Naismith is not a good footballer.

Having started off at Rangers, Naismith was picked up by Accrington Stanley where he made 73 appearances, where he earned a move to Portsmouth under Paul Cook, who then brought him along to Wigan which was Naismith’s last club.

Having stuck with the financially troubled Latics for the first half of the season, the Scotsman departed from Wigan on the 7th of January to head off to APEOL out in Cyprus.

However, this move was halted by the early departure of manager Mick McCarthy who had wanted to bring Naismith in.

Now that the move to APEOL is no longer on the cards, Naismith would be a benefit to most League One and even lower half Championship teams, and it is probably worth keeping track of where Paul Cook goes next, as Naismith may follow the manager to his next club.