English Premier League teams may be struggling to come to terms with Saudi Arabian clubs moving for some of their biggest names but fans in Riyadh, Jeddah and many other big cities of the Middle East and Asia are also having to adjust to football’s new reality.
Talents such as N’Golo Kante, Karim Benzema and Jota have joined champions Ittihad to work with coach Nuno Espirito Santo.
Hilal, the 18-time title winners, made bids for Lionel Messi and Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic and have signed Kalidou Koulibaly, Ruben Neves and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.
Meanwhile, Roberto Firmino and Edouard Mendy left the Premier League to become Al-Ahli players, with Manchester City’s Riyad Mahrez set to join them soon.
Expectations are building before the new season starts in August.
“It is clear that the new football season will be a strong one with a lot of big football names that will undoubtedly be great additions,” adds Al-Hilal fan Ayman Al-Hatami.
“As for Al-Hilal, we are satisfied with our new signings as we aspire to be stronger and achieve a better position. As usual, we are the first candidate for every championship.”