Saudi stars head to La Liga

Elias Hubbard
January 23, 2018

Nine Saudi national-team players have officially joined Spain's La Liga and the B league to hone their skills, gearing up for the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation in June, Saudi General Sports Authority boss Turki Al-Sheikh announced on Sunday.

Spain's La Liga outfit Villarreal signed Al-Hilal winger Salem Al-Dawsari; Leganes signed Al-Nasr winger Yahia Al-Sheri; and Levante took Al-Ittihad forward Fahad Al-Muwallad - all on loan until the end of the current season, which ends before Russian Federation 2018.

The players, some of whom are likely to play for Saudi Arabia at the World Cup - the country's first appearance since 2006 - are loanees with their contracted clubs receiving compensation.

Second division sides Sporting Gijon, Numancia, Rayo Vallecano and Real Valladolid are also participating in the scheme.

Saudi national team players
Nine players secure moves to Spain in Saudi Arabia and La Liga partnership

As a part of a partnership initially announced in October, nine Saudi players are to join first and second division Spanish leagues to gain experience and help improve football in the kingdom.

Midfielder Salem Al Dawsari will join Villarreal, while Leganes signed forward Yahia Al-Shehri and Levante signed Fahad Al-Muwallad. Marwan Othman will also join Leganes' youth ranks. "With the arrival of Fahad Al-Muwallad we sign a player that will help gain visibility in the Arab world, where La Liga is the most followed worldwide league".

"These loan agreements, for an initial period of six months, allow these players to further develop their skills training and playing in Spain", said a La Liga statement.

"This agreement impedes the development of young footballers and represents an obstacle to the opportunities for the youth academy, which isn't always accorded this type of opportunity", added the AFE.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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