6 Premier League stars who joined random clubs – from Alex Song to Jack Wilshere
Some of football's most random transfers have seen former Premier League stars rock up in Djibouti and Thailand in recent years.
With players' careers lasting longer and longer these days, some stars move to new leagues in order to keep playing once they are no longer at the standard of Europe's elite leagues. This has seen the likes of Alex Song and Jack Wilshere move to random clubs in recent years, followed by Kostas Mitroglou's move to the German amateur game earlier this month.
They are not the only stars to complete strange transfers either, so, with that in mind here are six Premier League stars who joined random clubs.
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Injuries, a change of manager and relegation marred the brief Premier League stint of Greek striker Mitroglou, who failed to score in three top flight appearances for Fulham.
He later recaptured his goalscoring touch during spells with Benfica and Olympiacos after leaving Craven Cottage as he embarked on a nomadic career path.
However, it is his latest move that has raised eyebrows as the 34-year-old joined ninth division German outfit Rheurdt-Schaephuysen last week after six months out of the game.
Best known in England for his time at Arsenal, Song racked up 190 Premier League appearances across his time with the Gunners and in loan spells at Charlton Athletic and West Ham United.
After struggling to establish himself following a move to Spanish giants Barcelona, Song went on to feature for Rubin Kazan and Sion in Russia and Switzerland, respectively. It was the club that he joined in November 2020 that is the most random, though.
Eight months after leaving Sion, he signed for AS Arta/Solar7 in Djibouti, joining alongside ex-West Ham striker Diafra Sakho. Song has since won two league titles in Djibouti and is now joined in the squad by another former Premier League star in Salomon Kalou.
Former England under-21 international Steven Taylor played in four different continents during his career, including in the Premier League for boyhood club Newcastle United.
Having already played in the MLS, Taylor squeezed in a six-month spell with Indian Super League side Odisha either side of two spells with Wellington Phoenix.
The defender scored twice in 17 appearances during his time in India and has continued his global football tour since retiring in 2021. He has been the manager of Gulf United in the United Arab Emirates for the past 12 months.
Jay Bothroyd's career is one of the most unique of ex-Premier League strikers, including a two-year spell with bonkers former Serie A side Perugia from 2003 to 2005.
After returning to English football, he went on to score six top flight goals in 54 appearances for Queens Park Rangers, Charlton Athletic and Blackburn Rovers as well as winning one cap for England.
The final eight years of his career saw three more random transfers, though, as Bothroyd played out the twilight of his career in Thailand and Japan. He starred for Muangthong United, Jubilo Iwata and Hokkaido Consadole Sapporo before retiring in February.
Wilshere was seen one of the most promising talents produced by Arsenal's academy in recent years when he broke into the Gunners first team as a teenager.
However, injuries would soon disrupt and stagnate the midfielder's career and he would find himself without a club aged 29 in the summer of 2021.
After seven months as a free agent, fans were left shocked when Wilshere signed a short-term deal with Danish club Aarhus. He went on to grab two assists in 14 appearances in Scandinavia before retiring last summer at just 30-years-old.
Although he made just a single Premier League appearance for Norwich City, the randomness of some of Kyle Lafferty's career moves made him impossible to leave off this list.
After Rangers were forced to restart in the Scottish fourth tier in 2012, Lafferty headed to Swiss side Sion and then Serie B side Palermo, where he formed a partnership with Paulo Dybala which helped power the club to promotion.
The Northern Ireland international has also played in Turkey, Norway and had another stint in Italy. Aged 35, he is now back at Kilmarnock, having returned last January after a six-month spell in Cyprus with Anorthosis Famagusta.
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