One of the first things you should do on any Football Manager save is check the free agents pool, and FM22 is no different.
Finding bargains in the transfer market has never been more important than it is these days, and there are plenty of potential gems available to join your team for nothing… as long as you get to them quick enough.
Here are the best free agents for every position in FM22.
Miguel Angel Moya
Moya may have hung up his gloves in real life, but on the virtual pitch he’s the best shot-stopper available in the free agent pool.
Following his release from Chelsea, Caballero is on the hunt for a new side. He’s an elite backup for a top side but still has a few years left of regular starts for a lesser team.
Now 39, Rafael’s time in the game is limited, but he’s still a capable stopper with 13 years of experience in Italy.
One-time Watford loanee Giedrius Arlauskis has been all across Europe but has spent most of his days impressing in Romania.
Not that one. This Julio Cesar is 34 and has spent most of his career in Brazil, but he did enjoy six years playing in Portugal and Spain.
He’s recently returned to Barcelona, but on FM22 he’s still kicking around the free agent pool and is among the top talents for you to pick up there.
Formerly of Aston Villa, Elmohamady is comfortable at right-back, wing-back and in midfield, so he’s the ideal squad player if you’re looking for numbers.
35-year-old Brazilian Jonathan still has a decent amount of pace about him and is a capable crosser once he gets into the final third.
Ivan’s lifetime association with Levante came to an end in 2020 and the 27-year-old is still on the hunt for a new gig.
Most recently on the books at Leeds United, 33-year-old Berardi would be a smart pick-up for any up-and-coming side.
Leading the way for the centre-backs is Sidnei, who would make an excellent defender for a mid-table side and could easily serve as reliable cover for a bigger team.
Musacchio is available after leaving Lazio in the summer, and like Sidnei, he’s still absolutely good enough for a spot on a top-tier side.
For 35-year-old Jardel, his ten-year spell with Benfica came to an end in the summer. He’s still got a year or two left in him.
Mangala is still only 30 years old and brings top-level experience with the likes of Manchester City and Valencia. One to consider.
It wasn’t long ago that Gnagnon was being touted as one of France’s best young defenders. Now without a club at the age of 24, he retains his decent potential and can grow into a top centre-back with the right management. Low risk, high reward.
Your top option at left-back is Benito who, at 29, can still offer you a few years of solid service following his release from Bordeaux.
Adnan recently signed up with Danish side Vejle, but that came too late to take him out of the free agent pool in FM22.
Former Chelsea and Zenit man Zhirkov is 37 at the start of the game, so if you want him in your squad, you may well only have one season to get him.
Reichel is a dependable option down the left wing and would make a good wing-back because of his high stamina and natural fitness.
Frenchman Tabanou has experience in England, Spain and his homeland. He’s a mean crosser of the ball so could be a smart addition to any smaller side.
The headline act at the base of midfield is Fejsa. His best years might be behind him, but if you’re a smaller side looking for some leadership, he’s your guy.
Nigel de Jong
The most recognisable name in this section, De Jong left Qatar in the summer and is now on the hunt for one last hurrah.
Chile international Reyes spent a few years in Spain earlier in his career and could still do a solid job for a side with aspirations of gaining promotion to the top flight.
Once of the Barcelona academy, Sanchez spent the last year out in Australia but is primarily known for his time with Espanyol.
Bernal has never played outside of Colombia but, now 33 years old, he has enough about him to test himself in a stronger league.
The gem of FM22 free agents is Paulinho, who usually lands with one of the game’s top sides after a few days. He’s a top-flight player and one who you have to consider snapping up.
32-year-old Petros, who has experience in Brazil, Spain and Saudi Arabia, is still more than good enough for a season or two at a high level.
Fernando (not the former Man City midfielder) has been all across the globe throughout his career. At 29 years old, he’s a smart investment.
A long-time favourite of managers on both the virtual and real pitch, Guarin is 35 years old at the start of the game and ready to bring his elite experience to a top team.
With close to 200 appearances in Ligue 1 to his name, Grenier has proven to be a reliable midfield option. His 16 first touch and 15 passing could be vital to an up-and-coming side.
Former Sampdoria man Ramirez is the best on offer when it comes to attacking midfielders. He’s at home centrally but can do a job on either wing if needed.
Romero comes with plenty of experience in South America, recently leaving San Lorenzo in search of new employment.
Falque’s versatility should sell him to you. He’s a top option both centrally and out on the right, where his 16 passing can really shine.
Italian icon Giovinco is still going strong at the ripe old age of 34 years old. He’s obviously a short-term option, but for a newly promoted side looking for an experienced head, he could be perfect.
At 37, Tevez may have one more shot at glory if you snap him up soon. He’s been an attacking midfielder for a while now, but he can still go as a striker.
Romero is your best option at right wing by a long way. He’s spent his entire career in South America but is more than good enough for a solid side in Europe.
A one-time wonderkid on the books at Valencia, Cartabia is now 28 and on the hunt for another chance to prove himself.
Nabil El Zhar
Morocco international El Zhar comes with 16 flair, 15 movement and 15 technique, so he might be a fun pick-up for a smaller side.
Bilbao native Gomez has some very fun stats. 17 free kicks, 17 crossing and 16 long shots should work wonders.
Finally, we have Keko, who is comfortable on both sides of the field and even centrally if you need him to cover there.
A good option for both the left and the right, Leonardo’s 15 dribbling gives him something to offer your side.
33-year-old former Sevilla and Roma man Perotti still has enough about him to make an impact at a solid level.
Burgui is 27 to start the game and has some nice physical and dribbling stats to go along with his 17 flair.
With over 100 appearances in the German top flight, versatile winger Caiuby can fill in at striker if you need him to.
After a brief spell in America, Rodriguez returned to his native Spain in 2020 but is back on the hunt for a new club.
The towering Llorente is your best bet when it comes to strikers. With 18 heading and 13 finishing, he’d make a great target man for a side in need.
Brazil-born Russian Ari is approaching his 36th birthday but still brings 16 technique and 14 finishing. Play him as a deep-lying forward to make the most of him.
Another option for a deep-lying forward is Perez, who brings 15 movement and 14 finishing.
Italian target man Pelle spent a short spell with Parma last season and is now on the hunt for his third employers of 2021.
Finishing off our list is 30-year-old Ferreyra, who has all the stats needed to be a nice option for a smaller side.