Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan joining Arsenal has come as a surprise to many, but this is not the only left-field move to have taken place in recent times.

The 28-year-old has joined the Gunners on loan for the remainder of the season, having lost his starting place in the Seagulls’ side to Robert Sanchez.

Reaction to this deal has certainly divided opinion among supporters, with many surprised to see Ryan complete such a high-profile move.

Plenty of others in the past have created confusion by securing unlikely opportunities that seemed impossible to take place.

Here, Mirror Sport looks back on 10 of the strangest transfers made by English clubs...

1. Steven Caulker- Liverpool

Caulker joined the Reds on loan in January 2016
Caulker joined the Reds on loan in January 2016

Signed as an emergency back-up for injured defenders Martin Skrtel and Dejan Lovren, Steven Caulker was brought to Anfield in January 2016.

But, to many people’s surprise, Jurgen Klopp made the unorthodox decision to deploy Caulker in attack on more than one occasion.

This was a move that paid off when the defender helped regain possession inside the Norwich City penalty area for Adam Lallana to fire home and clinch a dramatic 5-4 win at Carrow Road.

The 29-year-old featured only four times for Liverpool before returning to parent club QPR.

2. Sol Campbell- Notts County

Sol Campbell's Notts County career didn't last long

Regarded as one of the Premier League greats, Sol Campbell’s curious decision to join League Two Notts County in August 2009 won’t be forgotten in a hurry.

Campbell, who had only ever featured in the top flight prior to this switch, penned a five-year deal with the Magpies- only to leave the club three days after his debut.

The former Arsenal defender later admitted the move was a mistake, calling himself ‘a mug’ for buying into the club’s vision of a top flight return.

3. Odion Ighalo- Man Utd

Ighalo returned to the Premier League in January 2020

When Odion Ighalo left the Premier League in 2017, few expected his return.

The Nigerian forward arrived on loan at Old Trafford last January as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer completed a unique piece of transfer business.

In Ighalo’s defence, the 31-year-old exceeded expectations by contributing 5 goals in 19 appearances.

Due to Covid-19, United extended the loan of the former Watford striker until January 30, 2021.

4. Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano- West Ham

West Ham's transfer business stunned the football world

The footballing world was left stunned as the Argentinian duo of Carlos Tevez and Javier Mascherano signed for West Ham United from Brazilian side Corinthians shortly after the 2006 World Cup.

It later emerged that the duo were owned by a third party, resulting in the Hammers receiving a £5.5million fine.

Mascherano left in January 2007 to sign for Liverpool, though Tevez completed the whole season and his seven league goals helped keep West Ham in the Premier League.

5. Julio Cesar- QPR

Julio Cesar switched the San Siro for Loftus Road in 2012

Queens Park Rangers’ transfer activity in the 2012/13 campaign caught the eye of many.

And when Julio Cesar arrived from Inter Milan, with five Serie A titles and one Champions League winners’ medal on his CV, exciting was building at Loftus Road.

The Brazilian shot-stopper admitted he had ‘dreams of winning the Premier League’ with the London club, who instead finished bottom of the division that season and were relegated to the Championship.

6. Jay-Jay Okocha and Fernando Hierro - Bolton Wanderers

Hierro had enjoyed great success at Real Madrid
Jay-Jay Okocha developed cult status at Bolton

Bolton Wanderers’ respective acquisitions of Jay-Jay Okocha and Fernando Hierro were equally as impressive.

Okocha joined the Trotters from PSG, with Hierro coming to the club having experienced a glittering career at Real Madrid which included five league titles and three Champions League triumphs.

Hierro spent only one season at Bolton, though Okocha would develop cult status after a four-year stint.

7. Edgar Davids- Crystal Palace/Barnet

Edgar Davids had spent time at a number of top European clubs before his time in England

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Edgar Davids had represented some of the biggest clubs in Europe before signing for Crystal Palace, and later Barnet.

Refusing to call time on his successful career, the Dutch midfielder agreed a pay-as-you-play contract with Palace before becoming player-manager at League Two Barnet two years later.

Both moves were relatively short-lived, though Davids declared his time at Palace as ‘one of the greatest experiences’ of his life.

8. Bojan- Stoke City

Bojan was once likened to Lionel Messi

Likened to Lionel Messi during his Barcelona days, a transfer to Stoke City was surely one Bojan did not expect to take place.

The 30-year-old failed to truly establish himself with the Spanish giants and left La Liga for the Premier League in 2014.

Bojan enjoyed five years with the Potters before leaving by mutual consent in 2019.

9. Esteban Cambiasso- Leicester City

Cambiasso spent one season with Leicester City

A stalwart of a great Inter Milan side, Esteban Cambiasso’s decision to join Leicester City was a mystery for many.

The Argentinian midfielder had enjoyed great success in Serie A, yet was signing for the Foxes- newly-promoted to the Premier League.

Cambiasso spent one season at the King Power Stadium, helping the team avoid relegation. Leicester, famously, won the top flight title the following campaign.

10. Andy Lonergan - Liverpool

Lonergan was recruited as a back-up option in the summer of 2019

After a career spent in the EFL, Lonergan struck gold with an unlikely transfer to Liverpool.

The Reds were forced into the transfer market after an injury to Alisson and the departure of Simon Mignolet, recruiting free agent Lonergan to tackle their goalkeeping crisis.

Also added to the ranks was Adrian, who deputised in the absence of the Reds’ number one.

Lonergan did not play a single match for the club, but received medals for Liverpool successes in the Premier League, UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup.