Players are ‘hating every minute’ of big-money Saudi move
Some are wanting to leave already
Several players in Saudi Arabia are already thought to be regretting their moves, just months after making the move to the Middle East.
The Saudi Pro League sent seismic shockwaves through the footballing world in the summer transfer window as they attracted some of football’s biggest names to their league.
Most of those joining the likes of Al Hilal, Al Nassr, Al Ettifaq and more were all offered luxury salaries to entice them to leave the Premier League and other leagues around the world.
But according to The Sun, some players and managers have already had enough and want to make an early escape.
They added that some players are even “hating” their time in the Middle East and massively regretting their decision.
Football in Saudi Arabia doesn’t appear to have to taken off despite the influx of elite talent, with attendances still low.
Jordan Henderson’s Al-Ettifaq side, managed by Steven Gerrard, played in front of 9,827 when they lost 2-1 to Slaven Bilic’s Al-Fateh last Thursday.
Their previous home crowd was 4,867 but last month just 976 fans watched their 3-1 win at Abha Club. For a nation of 37m people, that’s not a lot.
The best supported side in the league (Al Ittihad) average a crowd of 25,000 for games however 11 of the 18 teams in the Saudi Pro League average an attendance of less than 5,000.
It's worth noting that in the new David Beckham documentary Beckham the Englishman admitted that he was surprised at the poor standard of the MLS and found it difficult to scratch his itch of playing at an elite level.
This resulted in him making a loan move to AC Milan, but even the MLS would be a higher standard and have bigger attendance than these games in Saudi.
- Gareth Southgate makes Saudi Arabia decision amid Jordan Henderson call-up
- Jordan Henderson believes playing in Saudi Arabia is a positive thing
- Premier League officials approached over Saudi Arabia move
- Brendan Rodgers takes unpopular stance on Jordan Henderson's controversial move to Saudi