Saudi clubs are coming after WSL stars too! Nigeria defender Ashleigh Plumptre completes transfer to Al-Ittihad after impressive Women's World Cup showing

Ashleigh Plumptre - Nigeria
Ashleigh Plumptre has signed for Al-Ittihad, becoming one of the most high profile women's players to join the Saudi Arabian league.
  • Plumptre joins Al-Ittihad after leaving Leicester
  • Many male stars have joined Saudi Pro League
  • Big name in the women's game to go to Saudi

WHAT HAPPENED? The Nigerian international left Leicester City at the end of her contract in June after three years at the club, and has now signed for Al-Ittihad. The 25-year-old posted on X, formerly Twitter, that she cannot wait to get started in the Saudi Women's Premier League.

"Grateful to have signed for Al-Ittihad. Excited to start this journey alongside some incredible human beings. My journey of stepping into more of myself continues…It’s more than football," she wrote.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Many big names in the men's game have joined the Saudi Pro League over the past year or so, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Karim Benzema and Riyad Mahrez. But this is, arguably, the first big high profile name on the women's side to make the switch to Saudi. Plumptre, who represented England at Under-15, Under-17, Under-19 and Under-23 levels before choosing to represent Nigeria, follows Venezuela’s Oriana Altuve, fellow Nigerian Rita Chikwelu and Sweden’s Nor Mustafa into the league. The defender, who qualifies for Nigeria through her paternal grandfather, impressed at this year's Women's World Cup as the Super Falcons narrowly missed out on the quarter-finals after losing on penalties to eventual runners-up England.

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WHAT NEXT? The new women's Saudi Premier League season kicks off on October 13, with Plumptre now set to join up with her new team-mates at Al-Ittihad to begin preparations for her debut.