Football Manager 2018 is out and the keenest players of the game will already be well into their careers.
However, if you are just starting out on your managerial odyssey in the new game, or plan to over Christmas, you may need a bit of assistance.
When it comes to dealings in the transfer market, managers are at the mercy of their board's budgetary restraints, but plenty of talented players can be signed for free.
To help you get started, Goal takes a look at some of the best free agents available at the start of Football Manager 2018.
Previous clubs: Anderlect, Genoa, Sporting Lisbon, Sevilla
Two-time UEFA Cup winner Diego Capel enjoyed plenty of success during his time with Sevilla, but, despite being just 29, finds himself without a club at the beginning of the game.
Capel was capped twice at senior international level by Spain and, depending on your club's needs, could be a viable left-wing option.
Previous clubs: Auxerre, Arsenal, Manchester City
France international Bacary Sagna is a free agent at the beginning of Football Manager 2018 following his release from Manchester City. His stats are still quite impressive, but, given his age, he represents a short-term option.
Based on his reputation and past clubs, it is likely that Sagna would demand high wages, so he may be out of reach for certain clubs.
Previous clubs: Mainz, Bayern Munich, Schalke, Sunderland
Once considered one of the brightest prospects in German football, Jan Kirchhoff's career has been blighted by injury, but he still has something to offer in Football Manager.
Kirchhoff counts German giants Bayern Munich and Schalke among his former clubs and is available for free following his release from Sunderland.
Previous clubs: Parma, Manchester United, Newcastle United, Villarreal, Fiorentina, Levante, Celta Vigo
While he is injured at the start of the game, Giuseppe Rossi is a definitely a player to keep an eye on because he is available for free following his release from Fiorentina.
Rossi's career is undoubtedly heading towards a conclusion, but the Italy international boasts impressive stats and, if he can be used cleverly, he would be a solid acquisition.
Previous clubs: Marseille, Arsenal, AC Milan, Crystal Palace
If you are looking for an experienced central midfielder to anchor your team on, look no further than Mathieu Flamini. He may not be cut out for a top-level team, but Flamini's mental and defensive attributes would boost a mid-level team and younger players could benefit from his experience.
At 33, it is probably worth signing the former France international on a short-term deal, but it is a gamble worth taking.
Previous clubs: Udinese, Portsmouth, Inter, Sunderland, AC Milan, Ittihad, Pescara
A Champions League winner with Inter, Sulley Muntari still has something to offer in Football Manager 2018 and, at 32, he still has a couple of years left at least.
Muntari is vastly experienced, having been capped 84 times for Ghana, but it is worth researching how the midfielder will fit in to your squad dynamics.
Previous clubs: Wolves, Everton, Manchester City, West Brom, Aston Villa, AEK Athens, Sunderland
Former England international Joleon Lescott is available for free in Football Manager 2018 and, if you are managing in England's second tier, he could represent a shrewd signing.
Lescott will turn 35 in the first season, but given his talent and experience he would certainly be a decent back-up player for a team with designs on promotion to the Premier League.
Previous clubs: Bordeaux, Dynamo Kiev, St Etienne, Sevilla
It can be difficult to find a decent left back, but you could do a lot worse than sign a two-time Europa League winning France international for free.
Benoit Tremoulinas boasts decent attributes and is likely to supply his fair share of assists with a high crossing ability.
Previous clubs: ASEC Mimosas, Beveren, Arsenal, Galatasaray, Sunderland
He has already been snapped up in real life, but former Arsenal full-back Emmanuel Eboue is available to sign on free transfer in Football Manager 2018.
Even though he is 34, Eboue's stats are still fairly impressive, but he is more likely to be a short-term acquisition.
JOSE ANTONIO REYES
Previous clubs: Sevilla, Arsenal, Real Madrid, Atletico Madrid, Benfica, Espanyol
He will turn 34 during the first season, but Jose Antonio Reyes' technical ability is still quite strong and he is a decent option to be able to spring from the bench.
The former Spain international has played with the best clubs in the world, so his wage demands are not likely to be affordable to smaller clubs, but he may come within the radar of mid-level clubs with hopes of climbing up the table.