“I had offers from Europe and America” – Ashleigh Plumptre reveals why she chose Al-Ittihad

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Ashleigh Plumptre featured in all four of the Super Falcons games during the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup in Australia/New Zealand.

Super Falcons left-back, Ashleigh Plumptre, has revealed the rationale behind her decision to turn down European clubs and move to Saudi Arabia, reports.

The 25-year-old’s contract with Leicester City ran out last summer, and following Nigeria’s round-of-sixteen exit from the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup, Plumptre joined Saudi Arabian club, Al-Ittihad.

The former Leicester City full-back had offers from top European and American clubs but rather opted to move to the Middle East to continue her footballing career.

While many hinted that the England-born Nigerian defender moved abroad due to the financial incentives involved, Plumptre denied that isn’t the case.

Speaking to Nigerian Football,  Plumptre highlighted that her path as a footballer isn’t the conventional one where players always move to bigger teams.

“Now, that’s, not the reason. I did had offers in Europe and also had an offer in America, but it’s not about that again. My journey in football isn’t about just going to high profile teams for the sake of going to high profile teams. I have a very good understanding of myself and what I want out of football,” Plumptre said in the interview.

For her, the impact she can have on and off the pitch, in a new environment posed a challenge for her and she took it in her stride.

“I probably had a couple more opportunities to go somewhere else,but I never went, preceding my decision to come here. As soon as I had the feeling from speaking to the coach, I knew this is where I wanted to be. We talked about the lifestyle, the culture and the impact I could make,” she added.

Now in Saudi, Plumptre enjoyed a dream debut as she bagged a hat trick for Al-Ittihad.