Ashley Plumpeter: The former England youth national team player signs with the Saudi Al-Ittihad Women’s Club | football news

Former England youth international Ashley Plumpeter has signed with Saudi Arabia’s Al-Ittihad Women’s Club.

Both the club and the 25-year-old defender announced the news on their social media channels on Wednesday morning.

Plumpeter played at England Under-23 level, but has since become a senior Nigerian international, earning 15 caps and playing against the Lionesses as they lost on penalties in the round of 16 of the Women’s World Cup this summer.

She arrived at the Etihad after leaving Leicester, her hometown club, as a free agent when her contract expired on 13 July.

“Grateful to sign with Al-Ittihad,” she said on the X website, formerly known as Twitter. “I’m excited to start this journey alongside some amazing humans. My journey to getting to know more of myself continues… It’s more than just football.”

Plumpeter spent three years with Leicester, during which she helped the Foxes win promotion to the Women’s Super League for the first time in the 2020/21 season.

Plumpeter played in the Women’s World Cup for Nigeria

Who signed for Saudi clubs?

In the men’s game, the 2023 summer transfer window saw popular players such as Neymar, Karim Benzema, Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Aymeric Laporte move to clubs in Saudi Arabia for lucrative offers.

With the Saudi transfer window now closed, Saudi Professional League clubs spent a whopping £784.2m over the summer, according to Transfermarkt data.

But 87% of this spending was spent by only four clubs: Al-Hilal, Al-Ahly, Al-Nasr, and Al-Ittihad. These teams are the four Saudi League clubs owned by the Public Investment Fund, which also owns Newcastle.

In fact, Al Hilal’s net spending of £302.1m is more than any other club in the world this summer.

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