FORMER Arsenal star Alex Song has joined Djibouti Premier League champions Arta/Solar7, according to reports.
The news came as a surprise to many… as they thought he'd retired.
And Song, 33, isn't the only former Premier League star knocking about in some far-flung corner of the world well into the twilight of his career.
We take a look at a whole TEAM of former top-flight players somehow still lacing up their boots every weekend.
GK – Brad Jones
Premier League clubs: Middlesbrough, Liverpool
Current club: Al-Nassr
THE Australian stopper kicked-off his senior career at Middlesbrough in 2001.
After nine years – and five loan stints, including to Sheffield Wednesday and Blackpool – Jones joined Liverpool.
Serving as third-choice at the Reds, Jones managed just 11 Premier League appearances in five years.
Since quitting Anfield, Jones has played for Bradford, Dutch sides NEC and Feyenoord.
He now plays for Saudi Arabian side Al-Nassr, having turned out 38 times since 2018.
CB – Steven Taylor
Premier League clubs: Newcastle
Current club: Odisha
THE Newcastle legend spent 21 years at the club, working his way through the youth ranks and into the senior team.
Taylor enjoyed 13 years in the first-team before leaving to join MLS side Portland Timbers in 2016.
He moved back to England with Ipswich in 2017, before moving to Peterborough.
Taylor moved to New Zealand to play for Wellington Phoenix between 2018 and 2020, before joining Indian side Odisha earlier this year.
CB – Martin Skrtel
Premier League clubs: Liverpool
Current club: Istanbul Basaksehir
FOR eight years, Reds fans were treated to tattooed, skin-head hardman Skrtel in the heart of their defence.
The Slovakian star quit in 2016 to join Fenerbahce, before a brief stint at Atalanta in 2019.
Now with a full head of hair, Skrtel is still going strong at Istanbul Basaksehir – helping the Turkish champions beat Manchester United in the Champions League earlier this month.
CB – Thomas Vermaelen
Premier League clubs: Arsenal
Current club: Vissel Kobe
THE Belgian star spent five years at the Gunners having joined from Ajax in 2009 and formed strong partnerships with Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker.
Vermaelen's career quickly unravelled due to a spate of injuries at Barcelona, where he played just 34 times in four years.
A failed loan spell at Roma did little to help either, and the centre-back linked up with Andres Iniesta and Lukas Podolski at Vissel Kobe in 2018.
Vermaelen is still there to this day.
RM – Salomon Kalou
Premier League clubs: Chelsea
Current club: Botafogo
KALOU won the Premier League title once in six years at Chelsea – scoring 60 times in 254 games in all competitions.
But he quit in 2012, spending two years at Lille, before moving to Hertha Berlin.
Kalou spent SIX years in the club – and landed himself in hot water earlier this year after singing a tasteless song about coronavirus before barging in on a team-mates medical test – before leaving in the summer.
The Ivory Coast ace is now at Brazilian side Botafogo.
CM – Alex Song
Premier League clubs: Arsenal, Charlton, West Ham
Current club: Arta/Solar7
The Cameroonian has been out of action since leaving Swiss minnows FC Sion in March.
Song, 33, was sacked for refusing to take a pay cut in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.
But after eight months without a club, the midfielder is back in the game at Arta/Solar7.
Song also played for Barcelona – the home of his most-embarrassing moment, trying to steal the LaLiga trophy from Carles Puyol when intended for Eric Abidal – during his career.
CM – Nigel De Jong
Premier League clubs: Man City
Current club: Al-Shahania
THESE days, the Dutchman is most-famous for clattering into Xabi Alonso's chest boot-first in the 2010 World Cup final.,
But before that, 'The Destroyer' played for Man City between 2009 and 2012.
He moved on to AC Milan before quitting European football in 2016 with a move to LA Galaxy.
De Jong returned for spells with Galatasaray and Mainz before moving to the Middle East in 2018.
The ex-Holland ace played for Qatari side Al Ahli before joining Al-Shahania in 2019.
CM – Eric Djemba-Djemba
Premier League clubs: Man Utd
Current club: Vallorbe-Ballaigues
ARGUABLY Sir Alex Ferguson's worst-ever signing, Djemba-Djemba joined Man Utd from Nantes in 2003, lined-up to become Roy Keane's eventual successor.
He quit two years later – after just 20 underwhelming Premier League appearances – to join Aston Villa… BEFORE Keane left.
The 34-cap Cameroon star moved on to global minnows Qatar SC, OB, Hapoel Tel Aviv, Partizan, St Mirren, Channaiyi, Persebaya Bhayangkara and Chateaubriant.
In 2016, Djemba-Djemba seemingly found his home at Swiss fifth-tier side Vallorbe-Ballaigues – where he still plays at nearly 40 years old.
LM – Nani
Premier League clubs: Man Utd
Current club: Orlando City
NANI joined Man Utd in 2007 from Sporting Lisbon and would spend nearly a decade at the club, making 147 Premier League appearances.
Since leaving, Nani has played for twice more for Sporting, as well as Fenerbahce, Lazio and Valencia.
The 112-cap Portugal winger quit European football in 2019 to head to the MLS – where he has starred for Orlando City ever since, scoring 18 goals in 49 games.
CAM – Maxi Rodriguez
Premier League clubs: Liverpool
Current club: Newell's Old Boys
SOMEHOW still playing, Rodriguez joined Liverpool arguably in the twilight of his career in 2010, then aged 29.
After two impressive years at Anfield – following his time at Atletico Madrid – Rodriguez returned to Argentina to rejoin youth side Newell's Old Boys, where he spent five years
The attacking midfielder spent a season at Uruguayan side Penarol, before heading back to Newell's Old Boys AGAIN last year.
ST – Ricardo Fuller
Premier League clubs: Stoke, Portsmouth
Current club: Hanley Town
THE Jamaican star kicked off his pro career at Crystal Palace nearly 20 years ago – in 2001 – but returned to Tivoli Gardens in Jamaica after struggling to nail down a spot.
He didn't get his first taste of Premier League football until 2004, with Portsmouth, after forcing a move away from Preston.
Fuller moved to Southampton – then outside of the top-flight – before getting another crack at the PL with Stoke.
The striker spent six years at Stoke, before moving to Charlton, Blackpool, Millwall, Oldham and Nantwich.
These days, Fuller turns out for Stoke-based North West Counties League Premier Division side Hanley Town.
At the age of 41, Fuller has scored twice in three games this season.
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