open menulivescore

Transfer Talk: Mitro's Saudi switch leaves Fulham floundering
Copy icon

Adam Drury
Aleksandar Mitrovic is set to leave Fulham for Al-Hilal
Aleksandar Mitrovic is set to leave Fulham for Al-Hilal

Aleksandar Mitrovic is set to become the latest high-profile addition to the Saudi Pro League with a move to Al-Hilal in the offing.

The switch would end an eight-year career in England that has seen the striker break records and finally prove himself in the top flight.

We analyse a move that makes Mitrovic richer but leaves Fulham vulnerable.

Cult hero

Mitrovic scored 111 goals in five-and-a-half years at Fulham, the seventh-highest haul in their history.

He leaves West London as a club hero, with the stellar 43-strike 2021-22 Championship campaign one of the most memorable in recent EFL seasons.

And after scoring another 14 times to keep the Cottagers in the Premier League last season — his most prolific at that level in just 24 appearances —  he appeared ready to star again in the 2023-24 campaign.

Departing for a club outside of Europe leaves a sour taste in the mouth, however, and leaves Fulham looking vulnerable.

Fulham to fall

Aleksandar Mitrovic was Fulham's main man last season
Aleksandar Mitrovic was Fulham's main man last season

Fulham's top-half 2022-23 finish was already a statistical anomaly and the departure of their main goalscorer means that things could catch up with them next term.

Marco Silva's side had the worst expected goals against figure in the league last season and their porous defence was only offset by a bit of luck and their star Serb's knack for finding the net at the other end.

Mitrovic's side won five of the 14 league matches he missed, three of which came against sides that finished in the bottom four.

Without him, a season of struggle seems likely.

'A big, big miss'

Fulham are not just waving goodbye to a solid goals return but to an all-round centre forward who adds so much to their play.

The 28-year-old won the second-most aerial duels of all Premier League strikers last season, despite making nine fewer appearances than first-place Ivan Toney, and is the foil for creative attacking talent like Willian and Andreas Pereira.

Silva's side only beat Everton, Leeds and Leicester during Mitro's eight-match ban for pushing referee Chris Kavanagh in March and at the end of that suspension, the manager said: "Of course, he is a big, big miss for us.

"We, as a group and our players, ended up looking the best way we could in that situation. We did it as best we could. But obviously we are stronger with Mitro and everyone knows."

Aleksandar Mitrovic was impressive in the Premier League last season
Aleksandar Mitrovic was impressive in the Premier League last season

Genuine rival

For the Saudi Pro League, this signing would be another eye-catching deal.

The league has not just targeted older players aiming for one final payday but players just outside of the elite in their peak years.

Mitrovic will hook up with Ruben Neves and compatriot Sergej Milinkovic-Savic at Al-Hilal, while the likes of Jota and Seko Fofana — both in their 20s — have also moved to the Middle East.

It is a transfer strategy that marks the division out as a genuine rival to the biggest Premier League clubs for the best talent in the country. 


FulhamAl HilalPremier LeagueSaudi Pro League (SPL)Aleksandar Mitrovic
LiveScore logo

LiveScore: Live Sport Updates

Footbal Scores & Sports News

App storeGoogle play