The Saudi Premier League is getting underway this weekend and besides the discussion whether the games will be broadcasted for free, the transfer window has broken a few records this summer.
Many big names has signed in different clubs in the league, as teams were spending more than 100 million euros in the process. Therefore, we collected for you 11 notable transfers the Saudi teams completed in this transfer window.
Price: €6 million
The legendary Sami Al-Jaber promised the fans a famous European striker with credentials, and he kept his word. The 'Black Panther' was a goal-machine in France, played in England and last season in Turkey he scored 29 goals in 33 matches. This signing means only one thing: Al-Hilal are here to devour the league.
From: Leicester City
Price: €16 million
I can't remember when a Middle Eastern team succeeded to pursue a young, high profile, in form striker, especially after a great World Cup, to convince him to ditch European offers and come to the region. This is a mega transfer for Riyadh's yellow side, who will aspire to win a first title since 2015.
Price: €10.5 million
A few years back, he was one of the hottest prospects of Brazilian football but failed to live up to the expectations. Yet, he was tremendous in Zenit St. Petersburg and Fenerbahçe, so Al-Nassr fans can expect him working well with Musa towards silverware for the club.
Omar Abdulrahman 'Amoory'
Price: Free transfer
The eternal & lost prince of Middle Eastern football was very close to signing in Europe this summer, but eventually Al-Hilal's big money and the fact that his spot in the lineup of teams such as Leganes wasn't promised, made him sign with the club he grew up at, as a Yemeni refugee kid in Riyadh.
Joseph de Souza
Price: €12 million
A defensive midfielder who played in Porto, Grêmio, São Paulo and the Selecão in the past, is a massive upgrade for the Green Boys from Jeddah, and the league in general. He is probably the strongest players ever to land in Saudi Arabia.
From: Leganes (On loan from Watford)
Price: €8.5 million
The talented Dutch-Moroccan has caused Spain a headache in the past summer's World Cup group stage, and told the whole world what he thinks about VAR, is finally landing in a league that he can express his abilities freely. He could have been in a different place by now as he has an explosive potential of becoming a true superstar, but his salary in Saudi Arabia will take care of his family which is also a very important thing.
From: Al-Jazira Abu Dhabi
Price: €7 million
The quick and lethal Brazilian is joining a club who has a true ambition to win a title. With Ramon Díaz as a coach, the Pirañha is likely to remain one of Asia's best players.
From: Santos Laguna (México)
Price: €10.25 million
The magical Cape Verdan was the Liga MX top scorer in the past season and arrives in Saudi Arabia at his peak. He is 27, coming from a rapid and technical league. He will never become the player everybody in Benfica thought he will, but for the Middle East that is more than enough.
Price: Free Transfer
Another Dutch-Moroccan on the list, but this one is the backbone of the Atlas' Lions national team, an ex-captain in Feyenoord and a beloved figure at De Kuip Stadium in Rotterdam. A stable, reliable, experienced and the one who's going to dictate Itti's transition from defence to attack.
From: Watford (On loan from Benfica)
This excellent Peruvian is trying to burst into global football recognition for a few years now and arrives after an intermediate season in the English Premier League, but in Saudi Arabia he can be a true hit. Being the favourite of his coach, Jorge Jesus, who coached him at both Sporting Lisbon & Benfica and knows exactly what it takes to produce the maximum from him.
From: Al-Faisaly (Jordan)
Price: Free transfer
Lukasz was the top scorer of the Jordanian League and the main responsible of Al-Faisaly's impressive run in the AFC Cup last season. While the rest of the members on this list bring mainly the shine of playing in Europe or so, Gikiewicz is an experienced fox who has the hunger and the ambition to succeed in a big Middle Eastern league. With a few Colombians by his side in Al-Batin, he can reach similar numbers like he coped at Al-Faisaly.
There are more big names who landed in Saudi Arabia for the new football season. Valdivia (the Brazilian) & Pesic at Ittihad, Petros & Hamed Allah at Al-Nassr, Fernandão at Al-Wahda, Paulo Diaz at Al-Ahli and more. All of them are joining a great list of players: Carlos Eduardo, Al-Somah, Khribin, Al-Sahalawy, Fahed Al-Muwallad, Salem Al-Dawsri and others.
Here are the biggest spenders of this Saudi summer, Transfermarkt:
And who is the guy that stands behind all these deals?
Willian D'Avila, a shadow man, who was involved in almost each one of these deals, except a few. Many see him as the next Jorge Mendes.
With 141 foreign players, a league value of $300 million, broadcasting issues, slow football but impressive attacks - the Saudi Premier League is on the verge of its most interesting season of all time.
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