The Saudi Pro League have been quite determined and aggressive in their quest to establish themselves as major players in world football. Over the past year, they've signed players like Cristiano Ronaldo, followed by Karim Benzema, N'Golo Kante, Jordan Henderson, and Neymar, with many more certain to make the switch from Europe to the oil-rich nation over the coming months and years.
Interestingly, and perhaps even surprisingly, they are not just looking at only the men's game. Indeed, Saudi Arabia are hoping to even get involved in women's football, as evidenced by their recent signing of Leicester City's Ashleigh Plumptre. The 25-year-old, who previously played for England's youth sides but was able to switch to Nigeria due her grandfather being from that country, was one of the standout showings for the Super Falcons at this summer's World Cup.
As such, Saudi Women's Premier League side Al-Ittihad made her an offer she couldn't refused, and following three years on the books of Leicester City, Plumptre is set to continue her footballing journey in Saudi Arabia. The Women's Premier League was founded in 2020, but has been in its current format since 2022. Al Nassr won the inaugural championship last season, while Al-Ittihad, Plumptre's new team, finished in fifth.
Plumptre will not be the only Super Falcons star to be featuring in the Saudi Women's Premier League this season. Rita Chikwelu, a two-time AFCON winner with Nigeria, also completed a move to Saudi Arabia from Liga F side Levante Las Palmas last month, with the 35-year-old striker set to ply her trade for Al Shabab, who finished third in the league last season.
The 2023/24 Saudi Women's Premier League will get underway in just over a month's time, on October 13th.