Brighton and Hove News »Best Spanish club sign Brighton and Hove Albion goalkeeper
Brighton and Hove Albion goalkeeper Mat Ryan joins one of Spain’s top clubs Read Sociedad, who finished fifth in La Liga this year.
Albion said: “Mat Ryan is leaving Albion after four years. The popular Australia international will join Spain’s La Liga Real Sociedad on undisclosed terms and subject to international clearance.
“The 29-year-old has been a key member of the squad throughout the club’s Premier League career and for three and a half seasons has been the club’s premier goalkeeper.”
Head Coach Graham Potter said: “Mat has been a great servant of Albion for the past four years and on behalf of the club I would like to express our gratitude for his efforts.
“He’s a great guy, a top professional and, as someone who wants to play regularly at senior level, he comes to Real Sociedad with our best wishes.
“It is a pleasure to work with him, he will be remembered by everyone and always welcome at the club.”
Ryan signed a five-year contract from Valencia in the summer of 2017, apparently for £ 5.2million, which was then a record transfer fee for the club.
He previously played for Blacktown City and Central Coast Mariners in Australia from 2009 to 2013 before moving to Europe, signing for Club Brugge where he made over 100 appearances for the Belgian Pro League squad.
After winning the Belgian Cup in 2015 and the Belgian Pro League Goalkeeper of the Year in 2014 and 2015, the keeper joined Valencia in 2015 and signed a six-year contract, keeping a clean sheet in his league debut against Rayo Vallecano.
Ryan made his international debut for Australia in 2012 and made all three appearances of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil before winning the AFC Asian Cup with the Socceroos in 2015.
He made his debut for the Seagulls in their first Premier League game against Manchester City at Amex, and continued to play every minute of top-level football for the club during the 2017-18 campaign.
The Australian maintained his fine form throughout the 2018-19 season and was named PFA Bristol Street Motors Player of the Month for October.
He also represented his country at the 2019 Asian Cup where Australia reached the quarter-finals, losing 1-0 to the United Arab Emirates.
Ryan continued as the premier goaltender under Graham Potter, keeping nine clean sheets in 38 league appearances during the 2019-20 campaign.
But after 11 appearances in the first half of the 2020-21 Premier League campaign, Ryan joined Arsenal on loan for the remainder of the season, making three appearances for the Gunners.
He can expect to play European football with Real Sociedad, which has its stadium in San Sebastian, in the Basque region of Spain.
Meanwhile, Albion is said to be in talks to sign Ajax goalkeeper Kjell Scherpen, 21, for around £ 4million.