Kalidou Koulibaly has become the latest Premier League player to join the Saudi Pro League after completing a transfer from <a href="https://www.thenationalnews.com/tags/chelsea-fc/" target="_blank">Chelsea</a> to Al Hilal. The Senegal defender only spent one season at the London club having moved to England from Serie A side Napoli last summer on a four-year deal. But the centre-half had a disappointing campaign, making 32 appearances in all competitions – 23 in the Premier League – as Chelsea ended a troubled season in 12th place. It is reported that Al Hilal have paid as much as £20 million for the 32-year-old. "From my first game to my last, it was an honour to wear this badge," <a href="https://twitter.com/kkoulibaly26/status/1673034696962240513">Koulibaly said on Twitter on Sunday.</a> "Last season wasn't the one we wanted, but I want to thank the fans and everyone at the club for your support." Chelsea said in a statement: “We would like to thank Kalidou for his contributions on and off the pitch during his time at Stamford Bridge and wish him well for the next stage of his career.” Koulibaly has won 71 caps for his country, scoring one goal, helping them finish<a href="https://www.thenationalnews.com/sport/football/aliou-cisse-on-senegal-s-afcon-heartbreak-we-deserved-better-tonight-1.888347" target="_blank"> runners-up at the 2019 Africa Cup of Nations</a> – when he missed the final through suspension – and then captained his team to <a href="https://www.thenationalnews.com/sport/football/2022/02/06/sadio-mane-spot-on-as-senegal-win-afcon-title-after-epic-final-against-egypt/" target="_blank">victory three years later</a>. He started his club career at French club Metz, then moved to Belgian side Genk in 2012, before signing for Napoli in 2014 and would go on to make more than 300 appearances in a hugely successful spell in Italy. He was named in the Serie A team of the year on four occasions, as well as being named the best defender in Italy in 2019, and helped Napoli lift the Coppa Italia in 2020. He nearly moved to Stamford Bridge in 2016 but the switch finally happened last July with Chelsea hoping the powerful defender could help fill the gap of losing Antonio Rudiger to Real Madrid and Andreas Christensen to Barcelona last summer – both on free transfers. “I'm very happy to be here with this team at Chelsea,” Koulibaly said after his transfer was completed. “It's a big team in the world and my dream was always to play in the Premier League.” But the move never worked out for player or club and Koulibaly now <a href="https://www.thenationalnews.com/sport/football/2023/06/24/ruben-neves-completes-record-move-to-saudi-giants-al-hilal-from-wolves/" target="_blank">joins Ruben Neves at Al Hilal</a>, following the Wolves midfielder's £47 million switch from Wolves, and becomes the latest Chelsea player to move to the Middle East. French midfielder <a href="https://www.thenationalnews.com/sport/football/2023/06/21/ngolo-kante-very-excited-to-join-karim-benzema-at-saudi-pro-league-champions-al-ittihad/" target="_blank">N'Golo Kante has already agreed to sign for Saudi champions Al Ittihad</a> on a free transfer, while Koulibaly's Senegal teammate Edouard Mendy could also join him in the kingdom with the goalkeeper close to joining Al Ahli. Out of favour strikers Romelu Lukaku and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang have also been linked to the Pro League, as has winger Hakim Ziyech. Belgium striker Lukaku, though, is determined to remain in Europe – preferably with Inter Milan, where he spent last season on loan helping the club reach the Champions League final, before <a href="https://www.thenationalnews.com/sport/football/2023/06/10/man-city-v-inter-milan-ratings-rodri-8-ederson-8-dzeko-5-brozovic-7/" target="_blank">losing to Manchester City</a>. Chelsea need to sell players or risk falling foul of financial fair play regulations after spending more than £600 million on new signings over the past 12 months. Forward Kai Havertz could also be joining the Stamford Bridge exodus with <a href="https://www.thenationalnews.com/sport/football/2023/06/22/arsenal-agree-65m-deal-to-sign-kai-havertz-from-chelsea/" target="_blank">Arsenal agreed a £65 million deal</a> for the Germany international, while Manchester City have had a £30 million bid accepted for Croatia midfielder Mateo Kovacic.