Two-year contract extension for Saudi Pro League’s leading goalscorer Bafetimbi Gomis

The French forward has terrorized defences in Saudi Arabia and Asia since signing for the Riyadh club from Turkish giants Galatasaray in 2018 for a transfer fee of €7 million ($8.1 million).

Al-Hilal handed the Saudi Pro League’s leading goalscorer Bafetimbi Gomis a two-year contract extension on Friday in what could be the most significant deal of the 2019-20 season so far.

It has been money well spent on a player who has been one of the most successful foreign signings in the league’s history.

The former Swansea City and Lyon star finished the 2019 AFC Champions League as top scorer with 11 goals as Al-Hilal took the continental title for the first time since 2000.

Domestically, the 34 year-old has been just as impressive and currently leads the goalscoring charts in the 2019-20 Saudi Pro League season with 14 strikes to his name to add to the 21 scored in the previous campaign.

“Gomez will stay with Al-Hilal until 2020,” the club said on Friday in an announcement that was well-received by its legions of fans.

“He has renewed with his bright heart and commitment.”

It is great news for supporters who are desperate to see Al-Hilal continue where they left off when the league season, suspended in March due to the coronavirus outbreak, resumes on August 4.

The following day, Al-Hilal, six points clear of Al-Nassr at the top of the league with eight games remaining, travel to their closest rivals in a crunch clash. Victory over Al-Nassr, the defending champions, would see “The Boss” take a huge step towards their 16th Saudi league title.

“I am delighted to stay with Al-Hilal for two more years to help the team and learn even more about Saudi culture,” Gomis said.

“I want to say thank you to the fans, the coach Razvan Lucescu, my fellow players and all the technical and administrative staff at the club,” the 34 year-old added.

“I am looking forward to the next two years.”

Team-mates of “The Lion,” so called for the striker’s famous goal celebration that takes place on all fours, also expressed their delight at the news that one of Asia’s most feared forwards is staying with the club.

“Congratulations my friend, I wish you all the success and I will bring you coffee tomorrow,” goalkeeper Abdullah Al-Mayouf wrote on social media.

Left-back Yasser Al-Shahrani said: “Congratulations to our Lion.”

As well as being on course for the Saudi title, Al-Hilal have their sights on being the first club to successfully defend the AFC Champions League since fierce Saudi rivals Al-Ittihad in 2005.

The team has won both games so far, with Gomis already contributing three goals in the coronavirus hit competition. Al-Hilal are scheduled to return to Asian action against Uzbekistan’s Pakhtakor on September 14.

Arab Observer

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