Key Players to Watch in the 2023/24 Roshn Saudi League Season

As the 2023/24 Roshn Saudi League beings to take full swing, here are five key players to keep a keen eye out for this campaign.

Find out some of the top players to watch out for in the 2023/24 Roshn Saudi League below.

A reminder that you can watch three pre-selected Roshn Saudi League matches each round live and free on 10 Play.

Missed any of the action, the three full match replays along with highlights will be available to stream on demand.

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Riyad Mahrez (Al-Ahli)

The ex-Manchester City treble winner, Riyad Mahrez, has been instrumental in Al Ahli’s three wins so far this season. Collecting two goal contributions across three games, he helped his side to a perfect record to kick off the new era of Saudi football.

Al-Ahli's Riyad Mahrez during AL Ahli Saudi vs AL Hazem FC in Saudi Arabian Pro League. (Photo by Khalid Alhaj/MB Media/Getty Images)

The Algerian winger's world class technical proficiency was on display in the first match of the Saudi League season where he provided a precise assist to ex-Liverpool number nine, Roberto Firmino. The combination of Mahrez’s dynamic ball providing ability and Firmino’s poaching instincts will make them a defender’s nightmare in the 23/24 Roshn Saudi League.

Al Ahli will be looking to establish themselves as a Saudi League powerhouse after being promoted from the second tier at the end of last season. Al Ahli could have a possible edge in this campaign as other new signings, Franck Kessie and Allan Saint Maximin, are in the midst of their prime years of football.

Karim Benzema (Al-Ittihad)

The 22/23 Saudi League champions, Al Ittihad, turned many heads when they brought in Ballon D’Or winner Karim Benzema. The striker with 355 career goals will now play alongside ex-Premier League midfielders, Fabinho and Kante, as Al Ittihad look to go two-in-a-row as Saudi League Premiers.

Karim Benzema of Al Ittihad in possession match During the Saudi Pro League between Al Ittihad v Al-Tai (Photo by Yasser Bakhsh/Getty Images)

Benzema was described by Real Madrid coach, Carlo Ancelotti as, ‘one of the best players in football history, a complete forward’. Now, under Nuno Espirito Santo, Al Ittihad fans will be waiting for him to take the league by storm.

Despite only scoring 1 from his first 3 matches, his positioning awareness and finishing ability will make him a leading candidate for the Saudi League 23/24 top goal scorer.

Kalidou Koulibaly (Al-Hilal)

Throughout the 2023 summer transfer window, many Saudi clubs have brought in 'big-name' attackers to reinforce the goal-scoring capabilities of their side.

Interestingly, there have been very few ‘big-name’ central defenders being signed across the league. One of the few being Kalidou Koulibaly. After a lackluster year at Chelsea, Koulibaly will be on his redemption arc this season as Al-Hilal attempt to reclaim the Saudi League Championship.

Kalidou Koulibaly runs with the ball during the 2023 Arab Club Champions Cup group B football match (Photo by AFP) (Photo by -/AFP via Getty Images)

The Senegalese defender is best known for his 8-year tenure at Napoli, where he won best defender in the 2018/19 Serie A campaign and is widely regarded as one of the best defenders to ever play for the club.

Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus is challenged by Kalidou Koulibaly of SSC Napoli during the Serie A match between Juventus and SSC Napoli (Photo by Emilio Andreoli/Getty Images)

The impact of having a defender of Koulibaly’s status and experience is immeasurable across a league with so much talent in the attacking third. Despite having to miss the first four weeks of the season due to injury, Koulibaly will be a key presence for Al-Hilal in the 23/24 Roshn Saudi League.

Neymar (Al-Hilal)

Keeping the focus on Al-Hilal, Neymar will undeniably play a massive role in the 23/24 Saudi League campaign. The 31-year-old is the most recent addition to the Roshn Saudi League after signing for Al Hilal on August 15.

Neymar Jr of Al Nassr FC meets the fans while halftime during the Saudi Pro League football match between Al Hilal Saudi FC and Al-Fayha (Photo by Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images)

Neymar’s new beginning at Al Hilal will be a chance to remind the world that he is one of the most creative and skillfully expressive footballers to ever grace a pitch. He is yet to make a return from the ankle injury he sustained in February. However, it has been hinted by Al Hilal manager, Jorge Mendes that he will be ready by mid-September.

Cristiano Ronaldo (Al-Nassr)

When Cristiano Ronaldo moved to Al-Nassr in December 2022, the world was taken aback. Little did we all know that this move would pave the way for several top-tier footballers to join the Saudi League only months later.

Cristiano Ronaldo stands over a free-kick during the Saudi Pro League football match between Al-Nassr and Al-Batin (Photo by AFP via Getty Images)

In the 22/23 season, Al Nassr narrowly missed out on becoming premiers after falling short behind Al Ittihad by only 5 points. This season, the five-time Balon D’Or winner will be joined at Al Nassr by world football giants, Sadio Mane, Marcelo Brozovic, Seko Fofana, and Alex Telles.

Sadio Mane, Cristiano Ronaldo and Abdulrahman Ghareeb celebrate a goal during the Saudi Pro League football match between Al-Nassr and Al-Fateh (Photo by ALI AL-HAJI/AFP via Getty Images)

CR7 may be approaching the twilight years of his career, although he has shown no signals of slowing down.

Last season, he scored 14 goals in only 16 games. And so far this season, Ronaldo has secured himself a hattrick against Al-Fateh. The 23/24 campaign will be Ronaldo's first full season in Saudi Arabia, and whilst Al Nassr have lost 2 of the 3 opening games, Ronaldo will be motivated as ever to bring his team to the top and ensure the world hasn’t forgotten that he is one of the greatest of all time.

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