Al-Riyadh Transfer Window 2024 Analysis

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

Al-Riyadh had a decent 2023-24 season considering it was their first season back in the Saudi Pro League. They secured promotion last summer after the league was expanded to 18 teams. They finished fourth in the Saudi First Division League and they wouldn’t have been promoted previously but the expansion granted them the promotion.

They managed to retain their place in the Saudi Arabian top flight by finishing 14th, three points above 16th-placed Abha and two above Al-Akhdoud. Odair Hellmann’s side will now look to stay in the Saudi Pro League next while also progressing on the table.

Al-Riyadh ended the season with eight wins, 11 draws, and 15 defeats in their 34 league games. They were eliminated from the King Cup of Champions in the Round of 32, losing 2-1 against Al-Feiha. They ended the season really well, remaining unbeaten in their last six games with two wins and four draws.

The club will now look to strengthen their squad this summer as they look to progress further in the Saudi Pro League and aim for a top-half finish.

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Transfer Strategy

Birama Toure
Birama Toure (Pic credits: Getty)

Al-Riyadh were promoted to the Saudi Pro League last season and mostly dealt in free transfers in terms of both incomings and outgoings. They signed the likes of Andre Gray and Birama Toure for free transfers. They also brought in winger Juanmi on loan from Real Betis.

They are expected to work on similar lines this summer as well. However, they could look to add more big names from across and spend more money, having retained their position in the top flight.

Newly-promoted side Al-Qadsiah have signed Real Madrid legend Nacho Fernandez and hence, Al-Riyadh will also look at their chances of bringing in top European stars.

Areas for improvement

Goalkeeping

Al-Riyadh’s first-choice goalkeeper is Martin Campana, who they signed on a free transfer from Al-Batin last summer. They have the likes of Rakan Najjar and Zaid Al Bawardi as backups. While they don’t desperately need one, they’ll look to add a big name between the sticks if they get the opportunity.

Defense

Odair Hellmann’s side conceded 57 goals in the Saudi Pro League last season, with only four teams conceding more. They certainly need more high-quality reinforcements in defense. The likes of Alin Tosca, Dino Arslanagic and Ahmed Asiri failed to impress. The club will look to bring in some experienced defenders this summer.

Midfield

In midfield, Al-Riyadh have the likes of Amiri Kurdi, Birama Toure and Saleh Al-Dosari. While they did decently last season, the club will look to add more creativity and steel in midfield. They will be targeting more experienced players to help the squad as a whole.

Attack

They scored just 33 goals in the Saudi Pro League last season, the joint-lowest alongside Al-Akhdoud. Even the relegated sides scored more than them and it will be a big concern for manager Odair Hellmann.

They need some big signings in attack, who can not only score goals but also create an impact in terms of easing the pressure on their defense.

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Top Targets

Juanmi
Juanmi (Pic credits: Getty)

They have been linked with Egyptian centre-forward Mahmoud Kahraba, who plays for Egyptian club Al Ahly. His market value is €800,000 as per Transfermarkt.

They have also been linked with attacking midfielder Toze, who plays for Saudi First Divison League side Al-Hazem. He is likely to cost around €3.80 million.

In terms of big names, the likes of Casemiro, Raphael Varane, Marco Reus, and Pepe are all available as free agents this summer. They have all been linked with a potential move to Saudi Arabia and Al-Riyadh could look to tempt someone into joining them.

They could also look to sign Juanmi permanently from Real Betis after his loan spell last season.

Financial Capabilities

Al-Riyadh spent €1 million last summer on a loan fee for winger Juanmi from Real Betis. Their expenditure last season was very low as they mostly dealt in free transfers.

However, being able to stay in the Saudi Pro League would help them increase their finances. They are, hence, expected to spend a fair bit this summer. They would still like to make smart signings whenever possible though.

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