Pundit Gabriel Agbonlahor insists football is partly ‘about making money’ after Ezgjan Alioski sealed a move to Saudi Arabian outfit Al-Ahli.
It was confirmed at the start of July that Alioski had parted ways with Leeds United at the end of his contract.
Leeds offered the 29-year-old a new deal but he did not accept it, and they weren’t prepared to improve his terms any further.
According to The Athletic’s Phil Hay, there was ‘a major financial consideration’ at play.
Al-Ahli reportedly offered Alioski a two-year deal with a €1.5million-per-year salary and a €1million signing bonus.
Agbonlahor reckons that Alioski’s move to the Middle East will prove to be twice as lucrative as staying at Elland Road.
And so by ‘cashing in’, he was merely making the ‘right move’ for his family.
“He’s 29, football’s about making money as well as playing in the top league,” said Agbonlahor.
“They’ve offered him probably half of what he can get in Saudi Arabia.
“He’s probably thinking ‘How long have I got left? I’ve had a decent season in the Premier League, how can I cash in on that and get a wage somewhere else?’
“I don’t blame him. There’s a lot of other players who do these sort of transfers when they’re 25 so I don’t blame him at all.
“He’s just thinking about the right move for him and for his family.”
It would no doubt have been difficult for Leeds to see Alioski go given that he helped them secure a return to the Premier League and featured in 36 of their 38 top-flight matches last season.
Fortunately, though, the Whites don’t need to look back. They’ve already upgraded by signing Junior Firpo from FC Barcelona as his replacement, a more natural full-back than winger-turned-defender Alioski.
And there may have been question marks over whether Alioski was truly at the level required for a European push, which will surely be Leeds’ target now they have secured a successful first campaign back in the big time.
In other news, there’s an encouraging update on a long-standing target.
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