Unearthing the best FM23 free agents is a key part of the game, whether your club has little to no budget, or you just love a bargain. Free agents are often ageing legends of the game (the oldest one on a large database is 55), or players who slipped out of football from big academies, so you can often find talent hiding away unattached in the football game. You won’t find the games top wonderkids, but there are some real free hidden gems available in Football Manager 2023, who you could even play and then sell on for pure profit.
The revamped scouting centre in the management game has made it easier than ever to find free agents. In the ‘players in range’ section, you can do a new search and sort by unattached or expired contract statuses to find . A simple filter is the ‘interested in transfer’ checkbox, to give you a list of realistic matches, and then you can sort by the world reputation star filter, or add in extra conditions to sort by, such as international caps, to get a view of what you’re looking for. Not sure if they’re up to scratch? Offer them a trial over pre-season to get a look at their performances on the pitch. Here are the best FM23 free agents you need to sign.
The best Football Manager 2023 free agents
Depending on the leagues you’ve got loaded and the size of your player database, you might not be able to find all of these players. Work permits, subject to the rules of the country you manage in, also might prevent some of these players joining your club. Free agents don’t hit your transfer budget, but they do require some wage budget, and any signing on fee will come out of the transfer kitty. With all of this in mind, we’ve included wage expectations in our FM23 free agents list.
Best goalkeeper free agents
We think we’ve unearthed a couple of the best free goalies in FM23, firstly in 24-year old Žiga Frelih. He’s got some great looking attributes already and as we all know, goalkeepers take a long time (and minutes on the field) to develop.
Javier Belman spent time at Real Madrid’s academy but never made it; his technical ability is great but mentally and physically he’ll need a lot of work. A diamond in the rough?
|Benjamin van Leer||30||Netherlands||£12k||GK|
Best defender free agents
We are spoiled for choice with free agent defenders who could do a job across the leagues in FM23. The number one defender available on a free is Santiago Arias. He’s 30 and from Colombia, has 54 caps for his national team, and most recently played for Granada. As an attacking full-back, with pace, stamina, acceleration and agility all above 14 and 13 crossing, he’s worth scouting. Premier League clubs will be after his signature from day one, so make sure you enter negotiations early to be in with a chance of securing him.
Edgar Ié and Jetro Willems are two defenders with bargain wage demands just coming into their peak, so send your scouts to assess them.
|Ricardo van Rhijn||31||Netherlands||£5k||D/WBR|
Best central midfielder free agents
Signing a central midfielder, you have to balance between attacking and defensive prowess . Danny Drinkwater is one CM who won’t make this list, as he was spoiled with huge wages at Chelsea, and whilst his ability is still good, he’s asking for a whopping £80-100k per week.
Someone who does represent good value for money is Anders Trondsen, a Norwegian international central midfielder who has a really balanced attribute profile across mental, physical, and technicals. He also has ‘shoots from distance’ and ‘shoots with power’ as player traits, so playing box to box could also pick up a few goals.
Best winger free agents
There are a few wingers worth scouting. Amadou Traoré is our pick, available for £3k in wages and at just 19, he’s one for the future whether you play him or flip him. Remember Giovani dos Santos? A former wonderkid with a CV that includes Barcelona and Tottenham; the Mexican forward is now 33 and has lost most of his pace, but his technicality remains.
|Giovani dos Santos||33||Mexico||£9.5k||AMRLC/ST|
Best forward free agents
At 37, Spain’s Fernando Llorente can still do a job, as you can see from his attributes above. Mentally, he’s still raring to go, and whilst he’s got no speed left in the legs, he’s naturally fit and can still finish with the feet or use his 18 heading. He only wants £10k so could be ideal for a lower division side, though you’ll have to promise him the #9 shirt to secure him.
Former Burnley striker Matěj Vydra is also available on a free, but will be out for 7-8 months with a damaged ACL – if you’re playing in the Championship or League One, shortlist him so when he’s fit you can check him out.
|Matej Vydra||30||Czech Republic||£13k||ST/AMC|
|Wilfried Bony||33||Ivory Coast||£2.3k||ST|
Want to improve the aesthetics and accuracy of your Football Manager 2023 save? Make sure you install the best logo packs, skins, and the real name fix for clubs and competitions across the full game. Alternatively, if you’re not sure who to pick for your career, our guide on the best teams to manage in Football Manager 2023 has options for everyone.