An Al-Adalah player has revealed he went through a whirlwind of emotions after hearing his club had signed Mohamed Salah, only to find out it was the Liverpool winger’s namesake and not the man himself.
A host of footballing talent reaching their elder years have flocked to the Saudi Pro League in 2023. Cristiano Ronaldo completed his move to Al-Nassr shortly after the conclusion of the World Cup, whilst Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema, Chelsea trio N’Golo Kante, Edouard Mendy and Kalidou Koulibaly, and Wolves’ Ruben Neves have all transferred to the Middle East this summer.
Therefore, if Salah hadn’t signed a three-year contract extension at Anfield last summer, it is not out of the realms of possibility that his name would currently be heavily linked to a multi-million pound switch to Saudi Arabia.
However Edson, a Brazilian defensive midfielder who plays for Al-Adalah believed his club had snapped up the Egyptian King himself when reading of his employers’ recent signing. Speaking to ESPN in his home country, he explained how he even celebrated the news at first.
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He said: “Regarding Salah, I thought it was Liverpool’s. It turned out not to be, I was hoping that was it. Arab football is growing a lot every year and if Salah went there, it wouldn’t be something out of this world.”
The player in question was actually a left back hailing from Saudi Arabia.
The Pro League’s growing financial power has been matched with criticism in England, with Gary Neville demanding a transfer embargo and former Reds striker Peter Crouch confused over Neves’ transfer in particular.
Edson also spoke of the league’s growing financial power during his interview, but with a positive outlook.
“People are investing a lot in Arab football, they want to make a stronger league every year. I’m happy to participate in this magical moment that football there is experiencing.
“They have always invested. The presidents, the league, the Saudi Federation. But the investment power has been increasing every year, and now it has increased even more. This is good for the country, which is very fond of football.
“It is a country that league has a lot to grow. Automatically, with the best players going there, everyone else will want to go too. If one goes, the other wants to go too. I’m happy to represent the club in this very important moment.
“They have a plan for 2030, who want to transform Saudi Arabia as they did in Dubai. To attract tourists, they are investing heavily in the structure of cities. I am sure that the Saudi Championship will be among the six, seven best in the world. I have no doubt about that, because it is growing a lot every year.”