Jordan Henderson, Al-Ettifaq

Al-Ettifaq Transfers 2024: Needs, Targets, Potential Signings and Outgoings

Al-Ettifaq Transfers 2024: An Overview

Despite being one of the older clubs in the Saudi Pro League, Al-Ettifaq have not been able to taste consistent success. However, they have won every major Saudi trophy at least once in their 79-year existence.

The club has been mid-table at best in the last few seasons, with their recent best being a fourth-placed finish back in 2017-18. Last season, Al-Ettifaq finished seventh in the table with 37 points from their 30 games. This year, they are on a better pace in terms of points with 25 already from just 19 games. However, they find themselves a spot lower in eighth place, with teams around them making key additions to become more competitive.

Managed by Liverpool legend Steven Gerrard, the club has roped in proven Premier League players in Jordan Henderson, Demarai Gray and Georginio Wijnaldum, which has helped them maintain their level. However, to bridge the gap to the top, they will need to recruit more, and recruit better.

Without further ado, let’s take a look at how they can approach the upcoming transfer windows.

Georginio Wijnaldum, Al-Ettifaq

Al-Ettifaq Transfers 2024: What do they need?

  • Last season, despite finishing seventh, Al-Ettifaq had a negative goal difference of -8 after 30 games. So far this season, they have a 0 GD, with 22 goals scored and 22 conceded.
  • The club has scored the fewest goals among the current top 10 teams in the Pro League, which is something they must rectify with priority.
  • None of their players reached double digits for combined goals and assists last season, with top contributor Youssouf Niakate managing just nine. This season, Moussa Dembele (8) and Wijnaldum (7) are leading from the front.
  • Defensively, Al-Ettifaq seem fairly decent and have the joint third-best defensive record in the Pro League this season, tied with Al Taawoun.
  • Gerrard’s men have failed to register a win in their last nine games, losing four and drawing five during that phase.

Clearly, the team requires goalscorers more than anything, with Gini Wijnaldum and Demarai Gray more than capable of feeding them from midfield and the wings respectively.

Ideally, they should go in for two strikers – one who will be the main focus, while the other could be a versatile player that can also play as a winger. They could also go in for a defensive midfielder or deep playmaker should Jordan Henderson depart.

ALSO READ: Al-Ahli Saudi Transfers 2024: Needs, Targets, Potential Signings and Outgoings

Al-Ettifaq Transfers 2024: Potential Targets & Signings

Olivier Giroud

Olivier Giroud, AC Milan

The 37-year-old Frenchman seems to be getting better with every passing year as he has somehow increased his output on the pitch in his late 30s.

Having joined AC Milan in July 2021, Giroud has bagged 42 goals and 17 assists for the club in 108 appearances across competitions. He is adept at holding the ball up and bringing his teammates into the game, which could be ideal for the set of midfielders and forwards Al-Ettifaq have at their disposal. Giroud is also exceptional in the air and can also finish some of the toughest chances with relative ease.

The Milan striker currently has less than six months on his current deal, meaning he is free to negotiate with other clubs. It remains to be seen whether he chooses to extend his stay in Italy or seeks pastures anew.

Douglas Costa

The Brazilian winger has been without a club since his stint with LA Galaxy ended in October 2023. Having played over 200 games for Shakhtar Donetsk and over a 100 for Juventus, Costa has established himself as one of the best players in his position.

His style of play is typically Brazilian, mixing flair with direct running which he likely picked up during his time in Europe. He is predominantly left-footed and can play on either flank as a pure winger, or even behind the striker as a false nine.  A relentless worker on the pitch, Costa’s lifestyle off the field could potentially be a deterrent.

The 33-year-old is currently a free agent and could be a valuable addition for Al-Ettifaq considering their offensive needs.

Luka Modric

Luka Modric, Real Madrid

The veteran Real Madrid midfielder has recently been linked with a move to Steven Gerrard’s Al-Ettifaq as the club is looking for a proven playmaker. Considering his time in the Spanish capital will soon come to an end, with Real unwilling to offer any more contract extensions, this could be the perfect time for Modric to leave.

Known for his innovative passing, smart movement and agile physical profile, the Croatian is the ideal package for a deep playmaker. He often makes late runs to assist with creation of chances but mainly operates in the middle third.

Having spent over 10 years with Los Blancos, making 510 appearances, Modric and his camp could be open to a change of scenario and move to the SPL should the right offer be tabled.

Al-Ettifaq Transfers 2024: Potential Departures

Jordan Henderson remains the only major player linked with a move away from the club, citing reasons of lack of comfort and the inability of his family and kids to adjust to their new life.

Having only joined in July 2023, should Henderson choose to leave, the club will be forced to dive back into the transfer market to seek out a suitable replacement.

ALSO READ: Al Taawoun Transfers 2024: Needs, Targets, Potential Signings and Outgoings.