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Saudi impact: most important summer transfers

Saudi impact: most important summer transfers

The Saudi league has played an important role in the 2023 summer transfer window. We take a look at the most important transfers of summer 2023.

Qatar-backed club Paris Saint-Germain have spent comfortably the most of any club in Europe outside the Premier League since the transfer window opened in June.

That is despite Bayern Munich dishing out a Bundesliga record of a reported 100 million euros to sign Harry Kane from Tottenham Hotspur, having earlier signed centre-back Kim Min-jae from Italian champions Napoli.

The other major transfer of the European summer saw Real Madrid spend 103 million euros to sign Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund.

As well as the usual drain of talent from the rest of Europe to the far wealthier English Premier League, clubs in major leagues on the continent have also had to deal with the new competition coming from Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi Pro League has made headlines with its spending, led by the reported 100 million euros paid to PSG by Al-Hilal of Riyadh for Neymar. Others who have swapped Europe’s major leagues for Saudi Arabia include Portugal winger Otavio, who joined Al-Nassr from Porto for a reported 60 million euros.

Al-Ittihad of Jeddah signed Brazil midfielder Fabinho from Liverpool for a fee close to 50 million euros, while Al-Ahli paid a similar amount to secure Gabri Veiga from Celta Vigo.

The latter move was one of the most ominous indications to the traditionally dominant European leagues that they can no longer expect to stockpile all of the best players.

While the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema were past their prime when they opted to move to the Gulf, midfielder Veiga is just 21 and only made his breakthrough in La Liga last season.

More big moves from Europe to Saudi could still follow, with the transfer window there open until 20th September according to FIFA.



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Samuel Kwame Boadu