Top five biggest transfers in the Saudi Pro League

Yahya Al-Shehri cost Al-Nassr €9.8m in 2013. (AFP)
Updated 03 August 2018

Top five biggest transfers in the Saudi Pro League

LONDON: Al-Nassr broke new ground in the Saudi Pro League by setting a new transfer record by signing Ahmed Musa from Leicester City. We look at the top five most expensive signings in the history of the league, according to

€16.5m Ahmed Musa — Leicester City to Al-Nassr

Leicester City will be delighted to have commanded such a high fee for a player surplus to requirements at the Premier League club. He scored just twice in 21 appearances for Leicester, but did score twice at the World Cup.

€10.24m Djaniny Tavares — Santos Laguna to Al-Ahli

Not too many outside of Africa had heard of Tavares, but the decision makers at Al-Ahli saw enough in the 27-year-old striker for them to break their own transfer record and sign him from Santos Laguna. He scored 40 goals in 124 games for the Mexican club.

€9.8m Yahya Al-Shehri — Ettifaq to Al-Nassr

Green Falcons international Al-Shehri is the costliest Saudi Arabian player after Al-Nassr signed him from Ettifaq in 2013. He was loaned to Leganes last season and played in two of Saudi Arabia’s three World Cup games in Russia. At 28, he should be approaching his peak years.

€8.5m Nordin Amrabat — Watford to Al-Nassr

The winger was out of favor at Premier League club Watford, but he put himself in the shop window with some energetic performances at the World Cup and Al-Nassr made their move, signing the Moroccan on a three-year deal.

€8.2m Diego Souza — Vasco da Gama to Al-Ittihad

Al-Ittihad made a bold statement by signing the Brazilian in 2012, but he made just four appearances, scoring one goal and returned to Brazil the following summer.

Arsenal open US tour with 3-0 friendly win in Colorado

Updated 16 July 2019

Arsenal open US tour with 3-0 friendly win in Colorado

LOS ANGELES: Brazilian Gabriel Martinelli scored in his Arsenal debut Monday as the English Premier League club launched their pre-season tour of the US with a 3-0 friendly win over the Colorado Rapids.

Bukayo Saka and James Olayinka also scored for the Gunners, who cruised to victory at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in suburban Denver.

Martinelli, the 18-year-old forward signed from Ituano on July 2, was given a surprise start in attack by Unai Emery and sent an early chance wide.

Saka, 17, was an energetic presence and put Arsenal up 1-0 in the 13th minute as he collected a through-ball from Eddie Nketiah.

Another teenager — 18-year-old Olayinka —  doubled the score in the 29th, seizing a stray pass from defense and racing in to fire into the top left corner of the net.

Martinelli, having missed his early chance, capped the scoring in the 61st when he slotted home a cross from close range.

The Rapids, in the midst of the Major League Soccer season, fielded a mostly reserve side that featured several players from the lower-rung Colorado Springs Switchbacks.

Arsenal, too, started a reserve team as they begin their build up to the Premier League season after again failing to secure a Champions League berth.

The tour has not started without controversy. Captain Laurent Koscielny refused to travel to the US, and a group of influential Arsenal supporters’ organizations published a statement on Monday hitting out at Stan Kroenke’s “passive ownership.”

Under a hashtag “WeCareDo You” the statement decried a “soulless” atmosphere at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium and a lack of transfer strategy.

Kroenke, who began investing in the club in 2007 through his company Kroenke Sports Enterprises and took full ownership in 2018, also owns the Rapids as well as the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams.