Free agent strikers – 8 players available now if Tranmere dip into transfer market


Saturday saw Tranmere succumb to a late goal once again, snatching away a vital win against relegation rivals Sutton United.

While a draw is better than nothing, those watching the game could not help but feel that Rovers were too dependent on trying to hang on to the one-goal lead. In fact, Sutton were pretty poor and with a little more intensity and drive going forward, you feel there were more goals to be had.

Obviously Nigel Adkins is majorly hamstrung at the minute due to Luke Norris once again being out injured. It leaves Tranmere without a traditional centre-forward target man. While Connor Jennings did admirably up there on Saturday, you feel that Rovers simply must recruit for that position as soon as possible. 

With that in mind, we have pulled together a list of eight forward players who are currently without a club, and therefore, available to sign right now as free agents. 

Connor Wickham

31-year-old Connor Wickham was widely linked to Tranmere early last season before he joined Forest Green on a short-term deal. He did well down in Nailsworth, scoring 9 goals in 20 appearances across all competitions. Such was his form, he left FGR last January and scored a move back to the Championship with Cardiff City.

He played 12 times in the Championship for Cardiff, scoring once and assisting twice before leaving in the summer. At 6ft 3” tall, he would physicality in addition to experience to Rovers’ frontline. 

Oumar Niasse

Niasse remains a free agent after leaving Morecambe last summer. He’d managed only 10 appearances for the club in League One, scoring once. The previous campaign had seen him at Burton Albion, also in League One, where he scored three goals in 12 appearances.

Probably not a player you would describe as a target man and not one who has had a brilliant goalscoring record in England, however, he would bring some experience and a little something different to Tranmere’s attacking options. 

Everton once spent £13.5m on Niasse back in 2016 after he scored 12 goals in 28 games for Lokomotiv Moscow. After four years and only eight goals at Goodison Park, he has had a bit of a nomadic existence around the Championship and League One since, also spending time with Hull, Cardiff and Huddersfield.

Kieran Agard

Veteran forward Agard looked to be on the brink of joining Tranmere a coupe of years ago, featuring in the back of training videos at the Campus after spending time training with the club for pre-season. However, just when a deal looked likely, Agard suddenly signed for Plymouth. That move in 2021 wasn’t hugely successful, he managed only 1 goal in 12 appearances.

Last season he was at Doncaster where he scored 3 in 33. Probably unlikely to join Rovers at this point aged 34 and having been a free agent for several months, but we are in a desperate spot.

Sam Winnall

Talented striker Winnall, 32, remains a free agent after leaving Burton Albion last summer. A product of the Wolves Academy, Winnall has played a lot of games across the Championship and League One with a career record of 116 goals in 368 professional appearances. 

Colin Kazim-Richards

We’ll say at the outset, this one is probably the most unlikely to happen of all on this list, namely because his representatives are currently in South Africa negotiating a deal to take him to Kaizer Chiefs. 

However, the vastly experienced 6ft 1” striker would certainly add some presence and know-how to the Tranmere frontline. With a career spanning an incredible 18 clubs, some fans will remember him as being the “Coca Cola Kid” during the soft drink firm’s sponsorship of the Football League in the early 2000s. 

His most recent club in England was Derby County whom he left in 2002 for a spell in Turkey.

Lewis Grabban

Another player you’d have thought very unlikely to be in Rovers’ sights, primarily due to the salary you’d expect him to require. Graban, now 35, is a free agent having left Saudi side Al Ahli in June. Apparently, a reported breach of contract on the side of the club handed Grabban a $700,000 pay-off upon leaving.

Before his one-season adventure in Saudi Arabia, Grabban enjoyed a stellar career here in England, starring for the likes of Nottingham Forest, Aston Villa, Millwall, Bournemouth and Norwich. If he is still looking for a club, despite his age, you’d be surprised if he needed to drop to the depths of League Two to find one. 

Gary Madine

Experienced striker Gary Madine may be a bit of what Tranmere need in some ways, an aggressive and combative forward who won’t give defenders a moments peace. However, his recent off-field history probably explains why the 33-year-old is without a club currently, and why he probably would not be a popular signing. Still, an experienced forward who knows the lower leagues well, and is available, so he makes the list.

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