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Saudi players still yet to feature in LaLiga

Nine Saudi players were acquired by seven Spanish sides in January and as yet not one has made it as far as the substitutes bench.

Jugadores saudíes del Villarreal, Levante y Leganés en Primera División.

Over a month has gone by since LaLiga announced the arrival of nine Saudi Arabian players at a number of Spanish clubs on loan deals. The deal was overseen by General Sports Authority, the Saudi FA and LaLiga.

Levante, Villarreal and Leganés were the top flight recipients of the Saudi internationals with players also heading to second tier sides, Valladolid, Numancia and Rayo Vallecano with players also heading to three Segunda B sides. 

Yet to make the bench

Villarreal were the first LaLiga club to announce the arrival of two Saudi players (Salem Al-Dawsari and Jaber Issa) with one being destined for the first team and the other earmarked for Villarreal B. Al Dawsari did receive a call up for the Europa League squad to face Olympique Lyon last week but ultimately failed to make the bench for the game. 

Leganés also confirmed the arrival of two players with Yahiad Al-Shehri being destined for the first team and Marwan Othman heading to the "B" team. Ahead of their arrival, Leganés coach Asier Garitano claimed: "I've never seen them play, but I'll take a look at them". As yet the Basque manager has yet to select Al-Shehri for any of his Leganes match-day squads. The same fate has befallen Levante's Fahad Al-Muwallad, dubbed by LaLiga ambassador Fernando Sanz as the "Saudi Messi" but yet to feature in a Levante first team squad despite clamour on Twitter for his inclusion with the #WhereisFahad hashtag trending when Muñiz announces his squad.

No action in Segunda/Segunda

A similar story for the players who moved to Segunda and Segunda B teams with Valladolid yet to call upon Nouh Al-Mousa, Numancia yet to play Alí Al Namer and Abdulmajeed Al Sulaiheem yet to get a call from Michel's Rayo. Sporting B (Alshabab Abdullah) and other B sides Villarreal B (Jaber Issa) and Leganés B (Marwan Othman) have also yet to call on the skills of their Saudi acquisitions. 

Ali Al Nemer
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Ali Al Nemer

Numancia's Ali Al Nemer did play for the "Rojillos" but only in a friendly against 2B side Burgos last week. The Soria based side overcame their neighbors from Castilla & Leon but the player didn't do enough for coach Arrasate to include the Riyadh born player in his squad that overcame high-flying Cádiz 1-0. "I like his enthusiasm" was the verdict from the Numancia coach when being asked to comment on Al Nemer's adaptation process.


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