15 Premier League free agents Bristol Rovers could sign - including Chelsea, Everton & Man Utd starlets - gallery
Premier League clubs are set to release their players shortly - and Bristol Rovers will be waiting to pounce.
Premier League clubs are set to release their retained list in the coming week or so, and already we know some players that will be departing their clubs. Some departures are high profile than others, and for some who aren't kept on, they will be leaving the Prem having only known youth football at a top flight club, and will now have to audition to get back in to the professional game.
Bristol Rovers are one of those clubs who will be waiting to see what players become available from world football's best league. Joey Barton is an ambitious manager, and wants to recruit players from the Championship and above, and has so far persuaded numerous top-flight teams to lend him their players, and develop them. You only have to look at Elliot Anderson going from playing in League Two to helping Newcastle United reach the Champions League as one of his success stories.
The Gas are in need of reinforcements this summer, and Barton has a preference of wanting to get business done early, with up to four signings earmarked for the first day of pre-season. Rovers begin their pre-season schedule at the end of June, and so far transfer speculation has gone quiet, other than a move for Gwion Edwards that was discussed last week.
Barton has a history of bringing in a mix of players, but has edged towards bringing in younger players as he wants to develop them. You only have to look at Lewis Gordon as someone who was at Brentford in the Prem, and rather than staying in academy football, he rejected Crystal Palace and went on to have a solid season in the third tier.
Can Barton and his trusted transfer team find another Gordon? There's for sure going to be players out there excited by the prospect of joining Barton's ambitious project at the Memorial Stadium. Below are 15 free agents, all under the age of 23, that we think would be realistic targets this summer.