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Saudi Pro-League: Top 6 Biggest Buys In 2023 Summer Window

Saudi Pro-League: Top 6 Biggest Buys In 2023 Summer Window

Like it or loathe it, the high-profile incomings of the Saudi Pro-League have been the talk of this year’s summer transfer window, with the window in Saudi Arabia slamming shut this week.

Some of the biggest names in world football, including the likes of Neymar Jr., Sadio Mane, Jordan Henderson and many more, have all made the switch to Saudi Arabia this summer. This comes after Cristiano Ronaldo became one of the first big stars to join the league in December 2022.

While most football fans have quickly begun to associate the Saudi Pro League with the spending of extortionate fees, some Saudi Arabian clubs have been getting some shrewd business done under the radar, as Betting.com reveals six of the biggest bargain buys from the Saudi Pro League this summe.

1. Roberto Firmino (Al-Ahli SFC) – free transfer

Roberto Firmino is one of many ex-Liverpool stars to make their way to the Saudi Pro-League this summer, although the striker is certainly one of the biggest bargains, having joined Al-Ahli SFC on a free transfer.

Also Read: Saudi League Might Be Better Than Ligue 1 —Neymar

The Brazil international is now playing alongside a team of stars at Al-Ahli SFC, including former Premier League players, Riyad Mahrez and Allan Saint-Maximin.

2. Karim Benzema (Al-Ittihad Club) – free transfer

A Ballon d’Or winner as recently as 2022, Karim Benzema is one of the most prolific signings made by any Saudi Pro League club this summer. What’s more, Al-Ittihad Club have secured his signature without paying a transfer fee.

Playing for Real Madrid between 2009 and 2023, Benzema made 439 appearances and scored 238 goals in La Liga for the club in that time. He also got his hands on five UEFA Champions League trophies and four La Liga titles in that time.

3. N’Golo Kanté (Al-Ittihad Club) – free transfer

If landing one UEFA Champions League winner on a free transfer wasn’t enough, Al-Ittihad Club have brought in two, with N’Golo Kanté also joining the team earlier this year.

The central midfielder has won almost every trophy there is to be won during his career with Leicester City, Chelsea, and the France international team, and the 32-year-old will certainly bring that winning mentality to his new club in the Saudi Pro-League.

4. Alex Telles (Al-Nassr FC) – £3.95m

Al-Nassr FC has been one of the biggest spenders in the Saudi Pro-League, adding the likes of Sadio Mane and Aymeric Laporte to the team for big fees, after initially signing Cristiano Ronaldo last December.

Also Read: Ronaldo, Not Messi Is The Real GOAT –Davido

However, the club bagged a bit of a bargain with the acquisition of left-back Alex Telles from Manchester United for just £3.95m. The Premier League side paid close to ten times that amount (£34.3m) for the Brazilian back in 2020.

5. Demarai Gray (Al-Ettifaq FC) – £7.98m

One of the last big deals to go through this transfer window is the signing of Demarai Gray to Al-Ettifaq on deadline day.

Everton’s loss is once again Steven Gerrard’s gain, as the former Liverpool captain brings the proven Premier League winger to compete in the Saudi Pro-League with Al-Ettifaq FC for just £7.98m.

Demarai Gray, who scored 4 goals in 27 league appearances for Everton last season, will now link up with the likes of Jordan Henderson, Jack Hendry and Gini Wijnaldum.

6. Yassine ‘Bono’ Bounou (Al-Hilal SFC) – £18m

Al-Hilal SFC has also been one of the Saudi Pro-League’s biggest spenders this summer, with a whole £225.75m on a spree that has brought the likes of Neymar Jr., Ruben Neves and Aleksandar Mitrovic to the club.

While the £18m splashed on goalkeeper Yassine ‘Bono’ Bounou might seem expensive, it may well be the most shrewd bit of business done by the club.

The Morocco international starred in his country’s unexpected run to the World Cup 2022 semi-final less than 12 months ago, and was a member of the Sevilla squad that won the UEFA Europa League 2022/23. This week, Bono was also included in the 30-man shortlist for the Ballon d’Or.


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