Billy Sharp and Dean Hammond were surprise departures from Saints on deadline day.

As revealed online by the Daily Echo , striker Sharp moved to Championship side Nottingham Forest on loan for the rest of the season.

Midfielder and former skipper Hammond returned to his old club, Brighton, again on a temporary basis for the remainder of the campaign.

Sharp only joined Saints in January, in a £1.8m deal from Doncaster.

He leaves the club with an impressive record of ten goals in 18 matches, having helped them complete promotion to the Premier League .

Sharp, 26, wrote on Twitter: “I’m really sorry saints fans I’m off 2 forest 4 the season, uve been amazin to me love u all, massive thanks and gutted to be leavin.”

Minutes before the window shut, the club also announced they had sent Hammond to Championship side Brighton – the club where he began his career.

The 29-year-old, who joined Saints from Colchester in August 2009, has made 145 appearances and scored 11 goals in his time at St Mary’s.