Saudi Professional League still second highest valued market in Asia behind CSL

Matt Jones - Editor 20:55 06/02/2019
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Romania international Nicolae Stanciu was the joint most expensive import into the SPL during the transfer window.

A busy winter transfer window saw the Saudi Professional League retain its position as the second highest valued football market in Asia as a total of 89 players were transferred into the Kingdom during January and February.

A little over €50 million was spent by Saudi clubs during the transfer window, from January 7 to February 4, with the acquisitions of Serbian striker Aleksandar Prijovic, who joined Al Ittihad from Greek Super League side PAOK, and Romanian attacking midfielder Nicolae Stanciu, who was snapped up from Czech giants Sparta Prague by Al Ahli Jeddah, proving the most eye-catching deals.

Both players commanded €10m transfer fees as a total of €53.8m was spent during the winter market.

Overall it saw the SPL retain second spot in Asia with a total market value of €380.69m (1.6 billion Saudi Riyals) according to German football transfers and marketing value website Transfermarkt – behind the Chinese Super League, which is valued at €473.7m.

Japan’s J1 League is in third place, valued at €344.2m. The UAE’s Arabian Gulf League is seventh on the list and valued at €122.12m.

SPL

Relegation battlers Ohod topped the standings in terms of deals done during the window with a whopping 15 players brought in as they bid to beat the drop. Ammar Souayah’s side, however, only spent €350,000, with all that being shelled out on one player – striker Ahmed Gomaa – who was brought in on loan from Egyptian Premier League side Al Masry.

Al Faisaly, occupying a comfortable mid-table spot, were the club to make the fewest signings with only two deals done.

Prijovic and Stanciu were two of a total of 47 foreign players signed during the winter window, with these players coming in from 26 countries: Spain, Italy, Romania, Jordan, Sweden, Nigeria, Portugal, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Egypt, Australia, Tunisia, Syria, Ghana, Belgium, Russia, Brazil, Chile, DR Congo, Algeria, Ivory Coast, Morocco, Cape Verde, Gambia, Guinea and Serbia.

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