RSL January transfer window wrap-up

A busy Tuesday night in the transfer market saw the Roshn Saudi League January transfer window culminate in 20 deadline day signings

Eight clubs strengthened their squads during the window which had opened on the 1st of January, with Al Ettifaq the busiest of the RSL sides.

Steven Gerrard's Al Ettifaq were the most active in the transfer window. Following the departure of Jordan Henderson to Ajax, the Dammam based side recruited Ivory Coast midfielder Seko Fofana on a six-month loan from Al Nassr. Fofana is joined by two other Al Nassr teammates who made the switch to the Eastern Province, veteran centre-back Abdullah Madu and flamboyant winger Khaled Al Ghannam.

January Football Recap

Al Ettifaq added more creativity in the form of Spanish playmaker Alvaro Medran from Al Taawoun, and winger Abdulrahman Al Obud from Al Ittihad. More firepower arrived in the form of Cameroonian international forward Karl Toko Ekambi from Abha and while Saudi international forward Haroune Camara was signed to provide competition and cover for Moussa Dembele and Ekambi up front.

Roshn Saudi League resumes live on 10 Play this February

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League leaders Al Hilal acquired the services of 25-year-old Brazilian international left-back Renan Lodi from Olympique Marseille. Lodi has previously represented Atletico Madrid and Nottingham Forest.

Across town, Al Nassr also invested in a left-back, brining in Australian international Aziz Behich from Melbourne City, while Luis Castro's side also re-registered Colombian international goalkeeper David Ospina who had been recovering from a long-term injury suffered in the latter stages of the 2022-23 season.

Socceroos defender Aziz Behich has linked up with Al Nassr on loan for the remainder of the 2023/24 season

Al Shabab were the busier of the Riyadh club, replacing outgoing captain Ever Banega with another high-profile former Sevilla midfielder in Ivan Rakitic. The former Croatian international was part of the side that reached the FIFA World Cup final in 2018 and spent six years at FC Barcelona. Al Shabab also recruited Brazilian playmaker Vitinho from Al Ettifaq.

Ivan Rakitic has replaced the outgoing Ever Banega at Al Shabab (Photo by Jesus Ruiz/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

With Korean international goalkeeper Kim Seung-gyu suffering a season-ending Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury, local goalkeeper Mustafa Malayka joined Al Shabab from Al Fateh on a six-month loan deal. Al Shabab also completed the signing of exciting midfielder Musab Al Juwayr from Al Hilal, the 20-year-old playmaker already has three caps for Saudi Arabia.

With former Real Madrid playmaker Medran leaving, Al Taawoun brought in a familiar name to long-term RSL followers, signing Argentinian Cristian Guanca who had previously represented the likes of Al Shabab and Al Ettifaq. They also signed winger Mohammed Al Kuwaykbi from Al Ettifaq.

Al Ittihad focused their efforts on the local market, signing midfield duo Ahmed Al Ghamdi and Hamed Al Ghamdi from Al Ettifaq and international right-back Fawaz Al Saqour from Al Shabab as well as goalkeeper Mohammed Al Mahasnah.

Under new coach Pitso Mosimane, Abha added more steel to their defence with the signing of Congo DR centre-back Marcel Tisserand from Al Ettifaq.

Roshn Saudi League Resumes on Thursday, Feb 8

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