High Profile Saudi Arabia Football Transfers This Season
Before the season started, no one could have predicted that the Saudi Pro League would be the one that spent the most amount of money. It has been reported that the Saudi clubs spent about $1 billion on football transfers this year. This time around, they haven’t only added players that are on the verge of retiring. They included legitimate superstars to bolster their league.
Everyone laughed when Cristiano Ronaldo joined Al-Nassr, but with a number of high-profile moves already made, it seems that we will have to look at the Saudi league differently now. But first, let’s count out some of the most important Saudi Arabia football transfers this season.
Karim Benzema to Al-Ittihad
One of the best football players during the previous season and the former Real Madrid captain, Karim Benzema, has decided to take his talents to Jeddah. His contract in Madrid was up, and even though he put on a spectacular display last season, he needed to depart.
Al-Ittihad managed to capture him on a free but gave him $107m per year in wages. It is an offer that hardly anyone could refuse, and Benzema was not impervious to it as well. He will play at Al-Ittihad for the next three years, which will probably spell the end of his career.
Neymar to Al-Hilal
This one arrived a bit late in the Saudi transfer window as Neymar Jr. finally decided to switch from Paris for Riyadh. The tensions between PSG and Neymar were running higher and higher and with the superstar mostly being injured during his tenure in the City of Lights, it was time for him to depart.
After much speculation about a return to Barcelona, Al-Hilal eventually came up with the most interesting bid. A £86.3m transfer fee was enough for PSG to let Neymar go. Also, him signing for a reported £129.4m a year is massive for a player at his age. Also, his switch became one of the largest Saudi Arabia transfers in the league.
Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to Al-Hilal
Al-Hilal will have no shortage of midfielders as Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has finally decided to leave Lazio. He continued the relocation of Europe’s greats to the Saudi Pro League. Actually, Milinkovic-Savic was constantly in transfer talks during every possible transfer window. But Claudio Lotito refused to sell him for a meagre price, always wanting more.
In the end, SMS begged for a move to Al-Hilal, citing this as an opportunity of a lifetime. Sergej is only 28 years old, so he still has a lot to play for in his career. Whether this move was good for him or not, only time will tell.
Sadio Mane to Al-Nassr
Sadio Mane has had one of the most disappointing seasons of his career last term. After switching to Bayern Munich, everyone saw this as the best possible move for his career. But injuries and arguments with other Bayern players prevented him from showcasing more.
In the end, he decided to switch to one of the most prominent Saudi Arabia football teams and link up with Cristiano Ronaldo. In Mane’s case, a move to Saudi Arabia is probably good for him. He is still 31 but has shown a significant slowdown in his steps. Proving that this switch could massively benefit his further career.