Mikel Arteta and Klopp Urge Alignment with Saudi Pro League Transfer Deadline
In recent times, the footballing world has seen a shift in the dynamics of player transfers. The Saudi Pro League, once not on the radar of Europe’s elite, has now become a significant player in the transfer market. This change has prompted calls from top Premier League managers for a synchronised transfer deadline.
European Deadline vs Saudi Pro League
While the European transfer window traditionally closes on 1 September, Saudi clubs enjoy the luxury of making acquisitions until 20 September. This disparity means that Premier League outfits could potentially lose key players post the European deadline and would be unable to secure replacements until January.
Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta voiced his concerns, stating, “It is a competitor now, I think we have to change that.” The sentiment is shared across the Premier League, with the need for a unified transfer deadline becoming increasingly evident.
Saudi Pro League’s Star-studded Summer
The Saudi Pro League’s recent ability to lure top-tier talent is undeniable. This summer alone, they’ve secured signatures from footballing giants like Karim Benzema, Neymar, Jordan Henderson, and Ruben Neves. With rumours swirling around Al-Ittihad’s interest in Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, the league’s intent is clear.
Jurgen Klopp, Liverpool’s manager, reminisced about past challenges with Russia’s differing transfer window, emphasising the need for uniformity. He commented, “It’s new, it’s challenging for everybody and we have to learn to deal with it. But the authorities should make clear that if you want to be part of the system, do your business at the same time as the others at least.”
Arsenal’s Stance on Post-deadline Sales
With the Saudi Pro League reportedly showing interest in Arsenal’s Gabriel Magalhaes and Thomas Partey, Arteta hinted at the possibility of post-deadline sales. While he expressed reservations, he acknowledged that such decisions would ultimately rest with the club. He added, “The only thing I’m saying is it’s not ideal because they are a competitor.”