5 golden oldies to rival the unattached Esteban Cambiasso
Esteban Cambiasso’s decision not to sign a new contract at Leicester City has not only left the Foxes a man short in midfield but also sees a belter of a free signing on the market.
The Player of the Season at the King Power Stadium may be approaching the twilight years of his career, but the class clearly remains.
Having racked up 33 appearances in the top flight, the Argentine would be an astute signing for any Premier League club looking to bolster bodies in the centre of the park.
And although his performances in 2014-15 would ordinarily be enough to convince clubs to take a chance on him, there are plenty other examples of centre midfielders continuing to deliver well into their late 30s.
Here are our top five central midfield golden oldies…
One of the best ever, the tough-tackling, flame-haired midfield maestro continued to boss things in the centre of the pitch for Manchester United for the best part of 17 years, before finally retiring aged 38.
The former England international did come up just short in regards to some milestones though, hanging up his boots with 499 league appearances, amassing 99 yellow cards to his name.
The former Chelsea man may have enjoyed many of his better years in the 1970s and 80s, but his longevity saw his professional career stretch 24 years.
Having enjoyed a European tour of Milan, Paris and Glasgow ‘Butch’ returned to London with QPR at the age of 34. He made 165 appearances at Loftus Road with a short spell at Crystal Palace in between, helping the Hoops to the dizzying heights of fifth in 1993.
Before terrorising journalists who ask silly questions, Strachan was terrorising defenders on the pitch well into his late 30s, and even further.
The ‘Ginger Wizard’ started 37 matches for Leeds in 1993/94 as a 36-year-old, although his decent performances couldn’t help them to any higher than fifth. A move to Coventry as a player-manager saw him become the first man to play in the Premier League in his 40s.
After ending his playing career at the Sky Blues Strachan wasted no time in splashing the cash as Coventry manager in bringing McAllister to Highfield Road.
But it was the Scot’s move to Liverpool on a free transfer that can be seen as the better piece of business. The then-35-year-old became an instrumental part of the Reds’ march towards a European treble of the FA Cup, League Cup and UEFA Cup in 2001.
Having worked together at Galatasaray, then Blackburn boss Graeme Souness was all too happy to bring a 31-year-old Tugay Kerimoglu to Ewood Park from Rangers.
Eight excellent years in the north-west saw the Turk pick up a League Cup success as well as being named the club’s Player of the Year in 2003-04. Known for his ability for a screamer, one such belter saw him become the fourth oldest player to score in the Premier League in 2008, before he hung up his boots the following year.
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