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Saudi Pro League hire former Chelsea executive Michael Emenalo as director of football

The Saudi Pro League (SPL) will appoint Michael Emenalo as its inaugural director of football, according to The Athletic.

This move underscores Saudi Arabia’s unwavering ambition to attract top-tier talent on and off the pitch.

Emenalo is renowned for his successful stint at Chelsea from 2011 to 2017. He played a pivotal role in the club’s resounding triumphs across the men’s, women’s and academy divisions. 

His expertise lies in overseeing transfer activities. He signed football stars such as Eden Hazard, Kevin De Bruyne, Mohamed Salah and N’Golo Kante.

Following his tenure at Chelsea, Emenalo took over as the sporting director at AS Monaco for two years. After leaving the club, he ventured into consultancy work. 

The Boston University graduate is widely regarded as one of the best sporting directors in Europe.

Emenalo’s appointment signifies the Saudi Pro League’s commitment to implementing world-class principles and frameworks similar to those in the most prominent football leagues.

He has an extensive network and a wealth of experience. The former Nigerian international can assemble a competent team, drawing upon his past collaborations to enhance the SPL’s infrastructure. 

The 57-year-old will prioritise nurturing young Saudi talent. He will need to provide them with opportunities to learn the intricacies of the football industry and further their careers.

The SPL’s decision to appoint a director of football is a clear signal of its intent to elevate the league’s standing and competitiveness.

As the SPL intensifies its efforts to attract high-profile players and managers, Emenalo’s addition reaffirms its dedication to securing exceptional on-field talent and top-tier personnel off the field.

It will be interesting to see the impact of Emenalo’s appointment. The Saudi Pro League hopes his strategic guidance and expertise will propel them towards becoming a globally recognised football powerhouse.

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