Al-Ettifaq Transfer Window Analysis 2024

Al-Ettifaq Summer Transfer Window 2024 Analysis: Strategies, needs, areas for improvement, and financial capabilities

Al-Ettifaq made very little progress in the 2023-24 campaign. They had finished seventh in the 2022-23 season with 37 points in 30 games. They finished sixth last season with 48 points in 34 games. They managed 12 wins, 12 draws, and 10 defeats.

They had some big results like beating Al-Ittihad 5-0 or Jeddah 4-0 but they were largely inconsistent across the course of the season. They were also eliminated from the King Cup of Champions in the Round of 16 by Al-Nassr. Both sides were reduced to 10 men but Sadio Mane’s extra-time goal ended up separating them.

Faris Ad-Dahna appointed Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard as manager last summer and extended his contract mid-season. The club will now be looking to strengthen their side this summer and progress further in the league or even challenge the likes of Al-Nassr and Al-Hilal.

Also Read: Al-Ittihad Summer Transfer Window 2024 Analysis: Strategies, needs, areas for improvement and financial Capabilities

Transfer Strategy

Jordan Henderson
Jordan Henderson (Pic credits: Getty)

Al-Ettifaq did bring in some big names like Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum last season and also appointed Steven Gerrard as manager. However, they didn’t spend a lot of money, mostly dealing in free transfers.

They are likely to spend much more this summer, considering the transfer fees spent by clubs around them and the names they have been linked with. However, it won’t deter them from trying to find opportunities for good free transfers.

Areas for improvement

Goalkeeping

They have Paulo Victor as their first-choice goalkeeper, with Abdullah Al-Oaisher and Majid Duran as backups. The goalkeeping unit did well last season and unless there is a sale, Al-Ettifaq would likely continue with them and invest in other areas of the squad.

Defense

Steven Gerrard’s side had the second-best defense in the Saudi Pro League last season behind Al-Hilal. They conceded just 34 goals while the champions conceded 23 goals.

This is evidence that their defense worked brilliantly together as a unit. Unless there is a big sale, they are likely to continue with them next season.

Midfield

In midfield, they signed the likes of Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum last summer. Henderson, however, left the club and moved to Ajax in January.

The other midfielders did decently but weren’t at their best. They need more steel and creativity in midfield. They will look to sign more experienced players from across Europe and perhaps some big names as well.

Attack

Faris Ad-Dahna scored just 43 goals in the league last season, the lowest among the top 10 teams. The likes of Demarai Gray and Vitinho failed to have the impact they would’ve wanted.

Al-Ettifaq need some big signings in attack and creative midfield positions. Not only do they need a talismanic striker but also wingers, who can compete with the likes of Moussa Dembele.

Also Read: Al-Hilal Summer Transfer Window 2024 Analysis: Strategies, needs, areas for improvement, and financial capabilities

Top Targets

Fashion Sakala
Fashion Sakala (Pic credits: Getty)

Steven Gerrard’s side have been linked with a number of players this summer. In defense, they’ve been linked with Al-Nassr centre-back Abdullah Madu and Al-Ittihad right-back Madallah Al-Olayan.

Al-Nassr midfielder Seko Fofana has also been linked with a move to Al-Ettifaq. In attack, they’ve been linked with Egyptian forward Kahraba and Al-Feiha center-forward Fashion Sakala.

They could also look to sign one of multiple top European players who have become free agents or are open to leaving their clubs this summer. This includes the likes of Pepe, Raphael Varane, Marco Reus, Callum Wilson and Casemiro.

Financial Capabilities

Al-Ettifaq spent over €35 million on new players last season. They can be expected to spend much more this time around though. Most of the clubs around them have spent over €100 million and if they are to keep up, they will need to invest more.

However, there are also plenty of opportunities in the free agent market and Steven Gerrard’s side could look to take advantage of that.

Also Read: Al-Nassr Summer Transfer Window 2024 Analysis: Strategies, needs, areas for improvement, and financial capabilities