Free agents and transfer bargains are going to be extra important in FM21 thanks to the massive financial impact of the pandemic on the game's first transfer window - but they're also just satisfying deals to track down as it is.
Whether you're taking over the filthy rich Chelsea or a lower league fighter like Huddersfield Town, you'll always be looking to save money on the transfer market, and so below we've compiled a list of the best players you can snap up for free or a small amount in this year's Football Manager 2021.
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If you're after some players with a chance to really improve, mind, our page on FM21 wonderkids and the highest potential young players is the place to go.
FM21 free agents and bargain transfers: the best free and cheap players in Football Manager 2021
There are fewer household names than usual here, but still some cracking deals that can be a big help in your early seasons. Here are the best free agents, free transfers and bargains in FM21.
FM21 free agents and bargain transfers list:
|Name||Age||Position||Club||Transfer Fee (£M)||Current wage (£k p/w)|
|Jerrel Hak||20||DM, M (C)||N/A||Free||None|
|Mohamed Boukhari||21||M/AM (C)||N/A||Free||None|
|Renato Santos||28||M/AM (R)||N/A||Free||None|
|Henk Bos||27||M/AM (C)||N/A||Free||None|
|Javi Espinosa||27||M/AM (C)||N/A||Free||None|
|Eric Rajal||20||AM (LC)||N/A||Free||None|
|Abdelrafik Gerard||27||M (RLC), AM (C)||N/A||Free||None|
|Inaqi Quereda||24||D (L)||N/A||Free||None|
|Rob Keuken||20||M (C)||N/A||Free||None|
|Shayne Pattynama||21||D/WB (L), DM, M (LC)||Telstar||0||N/A|
|Lars Gulpen||27||M/AM (C)||EHC||0||N/A|
|Christophe van Zutphen||20||D (C)||FC Den Bosch||0.00825||0.14|
|Shurny Marengo||20||AM (RL)||FC Volendam||0.00975||0.13|
|Gabriel Leveh||20||D (RC)||KRC Genk||0.0165||2.3|
|Gonzalo Zamorano||25||AM (R), ST (C)||Vikingur||0.017||0.425|
|David Alvarez||33||M (C), AM (RC)||Barco||0.0205||1.3|
|Marian Shved||23||AM (R), ST (C)||KV Mechelen||0.04||7.5|
|Fran Oller||26||M/AM (C)||Almeria||0.0415||0.65|
|Luis Guillermo Madrigal||27||ST (C)||Salamanca||0.054||2.7|
|Jaime Romero||29||M (R), AM (RL)||Qarabag||0.25||2.7|
|Yohan Mollo||31||M/AM (RL)||Panathinaikos||0.4||4.5|
Scroll right on mobile to view full table.
How we chose our list of the best free agents and bargains in FM21
Using the in-game scouting system, we've made a list to search for players with ratings of at least 14 (out of 20) in two or more ability fields, and over 10 in two others. Many of the players below exceed these. These abilities cover mental, technical and physical abilities, which can define not just a player's on-pitch performance, but how they interact with you and others on the team.
We set the maximum age to 33, so you can be sure you'll get at least a couple of years from some of these players. Usually, goalies are hard to come by but this year we're treated to two players not attached to any club, both with the potential of reaching 20 in handling ratings (the most important for goalkeepers).
There are many other highlights. Gabriel Leveh of KRC Genk seems to be the best cheap defender you can snap up, and he's only 20-years-old. Rental Santos looks to be a potential beast in your midfield, and is somehow available for the princely sum of £0. And we thought it would be nice to highlight Abdelrafik Gerard due to the flexibility of where you can play him on the field. Now it's just a matter of whether your scrappy team can also become formidable league challengers.
For more like this, our guide to FM21 wonderkids and the highest potential young players could come in very handy.