The Saudi Pro League’s director of football, Michael Emenalo, has revealed ambitious plans to make the competition a destination for the world’s top soccer talents.

He envisions a league that will become exclusive to ‘exceptional players only’ in a few short years. Emenalo spoke about the league’s goals, emphasizing that the intent is to build a sustainable platform while continuing to sign high-profile players.

The former Chelsea technical director specifically mentioned wanting to see stars like Kylian Mbappe and Harry Kane in the league. He believes the Saudi Pro League‘s strategy will inevitably attract top talent.

How does Saudi Pro League plan to lure these players?

“I would love to have Kylian Mbappe here. I would love to have Harry Kane here. The league would like to have all the top players. And I think it is something that will be at the heart of this strategy. In a couple of years, in a few short years, this will become a league for exceptional players only”, he’s quoted as saying by The Athletic.

“It will become a league for those who are at the top of their game, because we have only 18 clubs and the space for just eight international players [at each club]. Yes, we have resources and we’re going to use those resources to make sure once we build up infrastructure, that players that are here are the ones at the top of their game.”

Players already contacted Emenalo after season debut

The league’s opening fixture, a 3-1 victory for Al-Ahli over Al-Hazm, featuring a hat-trick from Roberto Firmino, caught the attention of players worldwide. Emenalo has also mentioned receiving calls from several players intrigued by the game.

“I will be responsible for some of the international players coming into the league, I’ll be responsible for working with the different clubs in squad mapping; what they already have in their teams, what they need. I will make recommendations with my team to what I think would help them.

“We want a disciplined structure that allows the clubs to manage their affairs efficiently, whether it’s finance or recruitment, or coaching, we want them to be as efficient as possible. The idea is for every club to earn what they get – now and in the future. As time goes on we will look at it see if it works. The goal is to become sustainable.”

Photo credit: IMAGO / Sportimage